Chop Russian Poplars: DC Ganderbal to Tehsildars

Srinagar, May 19: Observing Russian poplar trees are a health hazard, Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal has issued order to all the Tehsildars to cut down the Russian Poplar trees, pollen of which has been a public concern.
Order issued by DC Ganderbal reads “It is once again impressed upon the tehsildars of district Ganderbal to identify the said trees within their territorial jurisdiction with the help of Social Forestry Department, Ganderbal, and cut them down on immediate basis.”
Despite thousands of Russian poplar trees being chopped off last year, residents across Kashmir Valley are facing yet another seasonal health hazard as the pollen and seeds shed from these trees are making lives of people miserable. Notably, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court had passed an order in 2018 to cut down the poplar trees across the valley.
In May last year, high court had directed all deputy commissioners in the Valley to issue appropriate orders for the axing of the poplars.
“Tehsildars of all tehsils shall be personally responsible for ensuring the compliance of the orders which would be passed by all deputy commissioners of the Valley,” the court had said.
The cottony pollen which the plants shed for about a fortnight beginning the last week of April is one of the major sources of respiratory allergies.
Following large scale complaints of allergy caused by pollen from poplar trees, the district administration in 2014 imposed a blanket ban on plantation of the trees in this summer capital of state.
The ban orders were passed by the deputy commissioner Srinagar with the observation that the pollen have become an “irritating nuisance” for the general public particularly for those suffering from chest diseases and small children.
The deputy commissioner had subsequently, in exercise of Section 133 of CrPC, imposed complete ban on sale, purchase and plantation of Russian poplar species in entire Srinagar.