Panaji, Dec 14 (PTI) Coconut and ‘Matti’ ((Terminalia Elliptica) trees have been granted a “state tree” status by the Goa government.

The notification announcing both the trees as “state trees” was issued by Under Secretary (Forests) Shaila Bhosle yesterday.

State Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai, who represents Goa Forward Party (GFP), had assured ahead of assembly polls that coconut tree would be protected from being felled.

Previous BJP government under the then chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar had classified coconut as a palm, making it vulnerable to felling.

“In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 7 A of the Goa, Daman and Diu Preservation of Trees Act, 1984, the Government of Goa having regard to ecological, socio-economic, cultural or heritage value, hereby declares ‘Matti’ (Terminalia Elliptica) and ‘Coconut Tree’ to be state trees,” the notification reads.

The wood of Matti tree is used for furniture, cabinet work, joinery, paneling, specialty items, boat-building, railroad cross-ties (treated), and decorative veneers.

Water stored in stem of the tree is often tapped and used as a source of potable water in the summer by forest folk.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.