Baramulla: Pollen of populous deltoids, vernacularly known as Russian Poplar, is again fast turning into a menace during this time of the year despite the strict ban imposed by the High Court on its further plantation and clear directions to the State Forest department to axe them down.
With the onset of summer in Kashmir Valley, Russian poplars produce their pollen in the form of cotton fibres to be carried away by the wind (anemophily).
These pollens are known to trigger various kinds of allergies including that of eyes, nose, and throat. The pollen fibre is also known to induce various kinds of skin allergies. In many cases, the fibrous pollen is known to cause asphyxia thereby making it lethal.
North Kashmir seems to be the worst victim of pollen shower owing to the increased plantation of Russian popular trees. Areas like Baramulla, Sopore, Kunzar, Rafiabad, Sangrama, and Pattan are worst hit. Pertinent to mention here that this particular breed was introduced in Kashmir in 1982 for its less maturation period as compared to its local counterpart.
Its wood found extensive use in the manufacture of plywood sheets, apple boxes and even in construction purposes.
People allege that the callous and non-serious attitude of the concerned department towards this problem is taking a heavy toll on public health. “They (Forest department) seem to be not at all concerned with the problem of pollen shower and have pushed the clear orders of Honourable High Court to the cold store”, said a local resident of Baramulla town.