July 2018 News

Kashmir Has About 36000 Chinar Trees

15 July 2018
Rising Kashmir
Sajidah Yousuf

Srinagar: Kashmir has around 36,000 Chinar trees, the latest census conducted by the State's Floriculture department reveals. According to the official data available with Rising Kashmir, the latest census of Chinar trees conducted by the Floriculture department, reveal that there are 35,805 Chinar trees across the Valley, giving hope to the dwindling Kashmir heritage. According to the census, district Srinagar has highest number of 7294 Chinar trees, followed by district Anantnag with 6222 Chinar trees, 4562 Chinars in district Ganderbal while district Baramulla follows with 4042 Chinars and district Pulwama with 2857. In Kupwara, there are 2055 Chinar trees while 2651 Chinar trees are in district Shopian, followed by district Budgam with 2637 Chinars and district Kulgam and Bandipora has 1973 and 1512 Chinar trees. Chinar trees, which grow in giant size, are the identity of Kashmir and the Floriculture department plants its saplings in nurseries in all districts of Kashmir to prevent its extinction. Chinar Development Officer in the Floriculture department, Shayiq Rasool told Rising Kashmir that this census of Chinar pertains to Chinar trees above the age of 6 years. 'The number of Chinars is completely established because they have less chances of mortality,' said Rasool. However, he said Chinars having age below 6 years were not counted during the census as they had higher chances of getting decayed. 'Chinars take 50 years to grow and up to the age of 150 it completely gets mature. Every year 5000 to 6000 Chinar saplings are sown by the department in district nurseries,' Rasool said. 'Chinar plantation drive is held every March 15 in which 6000 Chinars are planted and supplied to different departments to grow Chinars in their jurisdictions.' Lamenting on the reason of the majestic tree's downfall, he said mortality rate is high and old Chinars are axed because of growing population, road widening, and constructions. On the Chinars being axed with permissions, noted Kashmiri poet and satirist, Zareef Ahmad Zareef said before 1947 there were more than 42000 Chinars in the valley. 'If anybody would dare to cut them, they were given punishment. This corrupt government is slowly taking everything from us. Chinar is our national tree, it's our heritage. They must be preserved,' Zareef said. He said people call him for help to stop axing of Chinars in many places of the Valley but he has no authority.