Opposition creates ruckus over Russian poplars

Opposition members of Congress and National Conference created uproar over government’s failure to cut Russian poplar trees in Kashmir which have become a health hazard in the Valley.
Opposition creates ruckus over Russian poplars
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Opposition members of Congress and National Conference created uproar over government's failure to cut Russian poplar trees in Kashmir which have become a health hazard in the Valley.

Drawing the attention of the House toward the issue, Congress, Legislator, G. N Monga quoted Greater Kashmir newspaper report on the poplar trees in JK.  

He demanded that the government should issue statement about its tardy approach which has resulted in health hazards for general public.

"Government should issue statement about the newspaper report which points to the failure of the government to free the public from Russian poplar menace," he said adding that it is the high court which took suo-motto cognizance of GK reports, otherwise the government was in slumber while people continued to suffer due to the poplar trees.

Monga said the "Russian poplar terror" is taking heavy toll on the health of general public but the government seems to be in deep slumber.

Following Monga's statement, the legislators of opposition from Congress, National Congress created uproar in the house demanding government's statement on the issue.

NC, Legislator, Qaiser Jhamsheed Lone said that the poplar menace has affected the health of people in both rural as well as urban areas of the Valley.

"Government should be serious about it, but unfortunately they are not," Lone's statement got support from other members of the opposition who were also demanding the government's statement on the issue.

The legislator accused the government of failing to get the Kashmir free from the Russian poplar trees.

Responding to the opposition bench, the Minister of Forest, Chowdhary Lal Singh, intervened and said that the government is cutting down Russian poplar trees in Kashmir.

"But Russian Poplar trees planted on private properties are delaying the process as the owners of these trees are not allowing us to chop them off, as they say that it is their source of livelihood and demand compensation from the government.  However they have assured that they won't plant Russian poplar trees in future," he said.

He said the members are also aware that there is also direction from the High Court which the government is implementing in letter and spirit.

To mention, the High Court on Tuesday  sought fresh status report from District  Deputy Commissioners on the chopping of the Russian Poplar trees.

The J&K government on Tuesday informed the High Court that nearly two lakh Russian poplar trees were cut down in south Kashmir's Kulgam district so far while four lakh such trees will be chopped in Pulwama district this month.     

Earlier, the High Court had banned the plantation of Russian poplar trees and had directed government to chop them in view of health hazards being caused by them. 

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