Scores of Russian poplar trees in the premises of Tyndale Biscoe School and Girls Mallinson School in Kashmir capital Srinagar have been telling upon the health of thousands of students. The pollen seeds of these trees have caused respiratory problems. The pollen seeds have also become a source of nuisance for the traders and common people.
Pertinently, there are scores of poplar trees planted inside the premises of these two Christian Missionaries Schools that were not removed even after the clear directions from Jammu and Kashmir High Court. The Court had issued two consecutive orders asking for removal of Russian poplars across the Kashmir valley.
Underscoring their potential threat to human health, the Jammu and Kashmir high court had said that tehsildars would be responsible for ensuring compliance with the orders passed by deputy commissioners for felling of the trees.
The court, in one of its earlier judgments, had observed, “It is common knowledge that pollen seeds of poplars of Russian species adversely affect health of general public, mostly of elderly people and children. The pollen seeds of these trees have given rise to chest disease in the Valley.”
Though government acted swiftly and uprooted poplar trees in different parts of Kashmir Valley but not a single poplar tree was removed from Tyndale Biscoe School and Girls Mallinson School. “People know better why the poplar trees inside these schools were spared. The more influential you will be, the more you violate the law,” said a shopkeeper outside the Biscoe School.
“These poplar trees shed cotton-like material carrying seeds that cause allergy and aggravate respiratory disorders. This cotton has become an irritant for all students,” a student said adding that they wish all these trees be removed from the school.