Residents of several areas in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district have alleged that due to the lackadaisical approach of Revenue department in cutting of Russian Poplar trees in the area, people are facing immense problems and health hazards.
Residents of Kanthbagh, Khawajabagh, Kanispora, Rafiabad and Sopore areas said that the pollen released from female Russian poplar trees is creating a lot of inconvenience to the people residing in these areas.
They said that shedding of harmful pollen is causing inconvenience and infections in many areas of Baramulla district.
In 2015 the High Court had asked the government to axe the Russian Poplar trees which it held had become a source of allergies in Kashmir.
Following the court orders, the government asked the Deputy Commissioners to undertake the axing. Even though the department has started the felling of trees, but residents of Baramulla and Sopore alleged that there are several hundred Russian poplar trees both on Srinagar-Baramulla highway and in localities which continue to pose a health hazard.
Residents of Kanthbagh Baramulla told Rising Kashmir said that poplar trees near army installations and government offices are releasing masses of pollen creating problems both for the residents in the area and to the patients visiting District Hospital Baramulla.
"Due to failure of administration to cut down the poplar trees and its plantation, residents around these trees are facing severe health problems. School going kids and patients visiting DH Baramulla too are severely affected due to the huge masses of pollen," Mohammad Sayeed, a resident of Kanthbagh Baramulla said.
Deputy Commissioner, Baramulla, Ghulam Nabi Itoo said that he would look into the matter.
“Earlier we were busy with elections, then the issue of floods in Pattan areas kept the district administration busy. I will call concerned Tehsildars and the process of axing the Russian poplars will be started soon,” he said. He said that army has already been notified and they have assured of axing near about 500 Russian poplar trees that are creating inconveniences to the locals in the town. “The orders of High Court will be implemented letter and spirit,” he added