High incidence of respiratory infections attributed to Russian poplars

SRINAGAR: The pollens shed by the Russian Poplars continue to irk the people of all the age groups as the incidence of respiratory infections has shown a significant rise for the past few weeks.
People have been complaining that despite bringing the issue into the notice of authorities repeatedly for the past two years, they have failed to uphold the High Court’s orders directing District Commissioners to ensure felling poplar trees within their jurisdictions to avoid pollen infections.
“The poplar trees have become a nuisance for everyone due to nasal and trachea-related allergies,” Mohammad Yousuf Shaha, a resident of Arampora Ganderbal said.
Shah said a delegation called on the concerned DC many times to resolve the issue but to no avail.
Another local Ashiq Hussain Mir said that these poplar trees have been planted even in agricultural lands because of their high value soft timber. “The presence of these tall trees drastically impacts our crops,” he said.
Another Ganderbal resident said that many miscreants and criminals have been using the tree cover as safe haven to carry out their activities including snorting of drugs.
Some people also alleged nexus between the authorities and the owners of poplar plantations.
“When the High Court has directed that poplar trees be cut down, why are the authorities not acting to implement the orders,” asked an Eidgah, Srinagar resident, Abdul Ahad. “It seems the authorities are hand-in-glove with the owners of these trees, and that is why they are dithering in delivering Kashmir from the menace of poplar trees.
People have appealed the High Court to take cognizance of the matter “given the fact that authorities have failed to implement its orders on ground” and because of which the high volume of pollens shed poplar trees continues to remain a major health hazard during this season.

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