Div Com, DM Anantnag order axing of Russian poplars Health experts hail move to remove trees

ESS AHMAD. Dated: 4/4/2020 1:08:16 AM

KT Impact

ANANTNAG, Apr 5: A couple of days after the Kashmir Times highlighted how the allergy caused by the pollens shed from poplars can cause havoc in the days to come amid spike in corona virus cases, divisional and district administrations have directed the field staff of the revenue department to get all the female Russian poplars cut in their respective jurisdictions.
The orders in this regard have been issued by both divisional commissioner and deputy commissioner of Anantnag with the directions to Tehsildars to implement the orders in letter and spirit.
Divisional commissioner Kashmir issued an order directing all the deputy commissioners to impose ban on the plantation and growing of Russian female poplar trees in private nurseries in compliance to the high court orders.
Divisional commissioner further directed that the pruning of all the female poplars be conducted on property land within 500 meters of habitation within ten days and warned of action for non-compliance.
Health experts a couple of days ago had warned that the pollen allergy will turn the situation more ugly in coming days if the poplars are not cut down before the spring gets into its full bloom.
"20 percent Kashmir population is allergic to pollens. Besides the pollen allergy has the same symptoms as that of Covid-19. By the end of April when poplars start shedding pollens the people with respiratory disorders will get confused and throng the hospitals to seek consultation for corona virus where they will migle with the carriers of Corona virus creating thus turning the situation more ugly," two health experts, Dr Suhail Naik and Dr Faheem Alam had told Kashmir Times.
In a separate and similar order, district magistrate, Anantnag, Bashir Ahmad Dar has ordered cutting down of all the female Russian poplars in the district.
"Whereas with the onset of spring (Mid April) the female Russian poplars start shedfing pollen enveloped in cotton which not only glide in air but after touching the surface again hovers in air with the slight breeze, thus there is potential risk of it becoming the carrier of virus, spreading infection from one area to another," read an order issued by DC Anantnag .
Now, in view of the above, the order further reads, all the female Russian poplars be cut down within week.
"It is impressed upon all the owners who have planted the trees to cut them down within week’s time at their own risk, responsibility and cost failing which action as warranted under law shall be initiated," the order reads.
District magistrate has directed the Tehsildars concerned to implement the order in coordination with police and forest department in letter and spirit.
In the order, Tehsildars have been directed to submit the action taken report on daily basis.
Health experts hailed the decision of the authorities to order axing of these poplars well in time.
Dr Suhail Naik, president of the DAK, said that the order issued by the DM Anantnag witb regard to axing of poplars is a wise decision and will surely help in preventing the situation from going worse in days to come.
"If these poplars are not cut at this point of time there would be lot of confusion in hospitals in coming days. Though some people say these poplars are means of livelihood for many but the havoc they cause consume much more money on the medicine," DAK president said.
He appealed other DCs to follow the suit in the larger good of people.



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