Faculty of Forestry and Directorate of Extension, SKUAST Shalimar today conducted a brainstorming session on the utility of Popular Cultivation in Kashmir.
Justice (Retd.) Bashir Ahmad Kirmani was the chief guest at the session, 'Popular Cultivation in Kashmir: A Boon or Menace.' Experts from diverse fields including scientists from social forestry, soil conservation, wildlife, timber industry, medical experts, lawyers, economists, civil society and farmers were attended the session.
Addressing the participants, the vice chancellor, SKUAST- Kashmir, Prof Nazeer Ahmad said that the poplar tree "has become a target of media trial and unnecessary public outrage." He expressed his apprehension that cutting of poplar trees would affect the environment of the State as the poplar trees form about half of the tree cover in Kashmir. Elaborating the economic aspect of the poplar trees, he said that it sustains six hundred crore timber and furniture industry and provides employment to thousands of people.
Expressing similar views, Justice (Retd) BA Kirmani said that the poplar trees cannot be a menace as it forms the basis of a profitable business, particularly in rural areas. He questioned the veracity of the idea of cutting all female poplar trees to tackle pollen allergy and asked about the ill effect it would have on male poplar trees. He stressed upon the fact that expert recommendations need to be formulated and the same must be placed before the Honorable High Court so that the important tree could be saved.
On the occasion, two research papers, Technical Bulletin On Cultivation Of Poplars, By Dr Ashraf Mir and Present scenario of trees outside forests In District Ganderbal Of J&K by Dr Akhlaq Amin Wani were presented.