Russian poplar trees cause health issues in Ganderbal

Russian poplar trees cause health issues in Ganderbal
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Ganderbal, Apr 29 : The district administration in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district seems to have lowered the guard in axing the banned female species of Russian poplar trees.

The cotton-type pollen produced by female species of Russian poplars has turned into a major health concern for the people here. Locals complained that when the pollen enters the body through nose or mouth it causes eye irritation or redness, persistent sneezing and breathing problems.

Sources said that though after the high Court directions few years back, the district administration had ordered immediate felling of the banned female Russian poplar trees, however after some time, drive fizzled out and the banned poplars continue to be a health concern for people.

"Acting upon the High Court orders to axe Russian poplars that proved hazardous for health , the district administration had directed all the Tehsildar's to intensify the drive to axe the banned poplars immediately in their areas" sources told Greater Kashmir. They said that the drive was started in several areas to ensure the implementation of the court orders but left halfway.

The poplars, locally called Rusi Phress, continue to dot the roads and areas of city outskirts and in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district particularly public places causing inconvenience to people and due to which the children and older people are becoming prone to allergic infections.

"Despite clear orders from the government to cut Russian poplars across Kashmir, the authorities have failed to check the growth and plantation of the cotton-shedding trees here, adding that while travelling in a vehicle Manigam to shalteng Srinagar it is seen that huge number of banned poplars are shedding harmful seeds,” Mushtaq Ahmed, a regular traveller on the road said.

Locals from several areas of Gund, Kangan, Lar, Ganderbal and others complained about the presence of Russian poplars. They urged the district administration Ganderbal to start a drive to cut these trees.

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