KL News Network
Despite court ban, the Russian poplar specie is still selling in the valley massively.
Underscoring their potential threat to human health, the Jammu and Kashmir high court had on May 5 2015, said that the tehsildars would be responsible for ensuring compliance with the orders passed by deputy commissioners for felling of the trees.
In April 2015, the court had issued another order that was not implemented, following which the court directed the government to implement the order at the earliest possible and wherever necessary.
However, flaunting the court’s order the Russian Poplar is being sold at several places in the valley including Pulwama, Baramulla and Srinagar city. The practice goes unabated without any check by the authorities.
Despite repeated attempts, Divisional Commissioner couldn’t be contacted.
During summers, populous deltoids—female poplar—sheds a cotton-like material carrying seeds that cause allergy and aggravate respiratory disorders. This cotton has become an irritant in the recent past for the locals as well as tourists.
This variety of poplar trees was introduced in Kashmir in 1982 from the US. Locally called as Rusi Frass, the specie takes less time (10-15 years) to grow, as compared to the Kashmir poplar that takes 30-40 years.
Due to their high yield, poplars are intensively used in the timber and construction industry. However, due to cotton-like seeds that the specie produces, it has become a pressing problem for the Valley. “It certainly aggravates respiratory diseases, the cotton-like substance is an irritant that causes allergies,” said Parvaiz Sajjad Shah, a doctor who treats lung patients in north Kashmir. “The irritation caused by the pollen results in running nose, red and watery eyes,” he said.