Chop Russian Poplars Across Kashmir: High Court To DCs

6 June 2015
Greater Kashmir
D A Rashid

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has once again directed all Deputy Commissioners to chop Russian species Poplar trees across Kashmir. Hearing an application by one Ghulam Muhammad Bazaz of Amada Kadal here, seeking direction for removal of Poplar trees near his house, a bench of Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey directed all the Deputy Commissioners and Tehsildars concerned to implement the court order dated May 12, 2015 on chopping Poplar trees without any delay. In its order of May 5, the High Court had said that Tehsildars concerned would be personally responsible for ensuring compliance of orders passed by the Deputy Commissioners with regard to removal of the Poplars of Russian species across Kashmir. The Court has already underlined the need for chopping Russian species of Poplars by observing that the 'health of general public is of paramount importance than interest of individuals who plant Poplar trees. 'It is a common knowledge that pollen seed of Poplars is adversely affecting health of general public, mostly of elderly people and children. The pollen seed of these trees has given rise to chest diseases in Kashmir, which can become life threatening for them,' the Court said. The Court reiterated that District Magistrates have power to deal with cutting of these trees and they should implement the court order without delay as 'the menace of Poplar trees of Russian species has caused havoc with health of people.' Earlier the Court had asked its Registry to seek report from Director SKIMS, Director Health Services Kashmir and Principal Government Medical College Srinagar about the approximate number of patients being treated for the disease afflicted by the pollen seed of Russian species Poplar trees. In his plea before the High Court, G M Bazaz had submitted that he had approached Deputy Commissioner Srinagar with a request in writing that his neigbour has planted Poplar trees near his residential house. 'The pollen of these trees falls directly into my house thus affecting the health of my family,' Bazaz pleaded. He however submitted that in light of the High Court's May 12, 2015 order, the DC to did not issue any instructions to TehsildarEidgah to cutting these trees. Pertinently in April this year, the Court had directed DC Srinagar to impose ban on purchase and plantation of Russian Poplar trees within the limits of Srinagar district after an applicant had approached it with the contention that his neighbor had planted these trees near his residential house and the pollen of the Poplar trees were causing allergy to family members especially his children and old aged mother.