People from different walks of the life Wednesday held a peaceful protest at TRC here against the authorities for axing the Chinars in the city.
“The authorities have thrown the environmental norms to the winds. There is no body to question them. Instead of planting, they are cutting them down,” said Javid Parsa, an entrepreneur of the city who was the part of the protest.
“In India you have Gaw Rakshaks (Cow Vigilantes) and if the authorities continue to axe the chinars here, there will be the emergence of Chinar Rakshaks (Chinar Vigilantes) in Kashmir,” Parsa said.
Taha Naqash, a Kashmiri comic said that before axing the chinars, the authorities must know its consequences.
“Kashmir has always been represented through the Chinar. If they are chopped them off then what will be the identification of Kashmir,” Taha said.
“The authorities are only doing it for the VIP movements. But they must think about the future as well,” he added.
The protesters had gathered near the axed chinars at TRC and were taking selfies with them. Many of them went live on social networking site facebook on the spot expressing their anguish against the step taken by the authorities.
It is pertinent to mention here that the authorities are these days busy in axing the Chinars between Radio Kashmir junction and MA Road for constructing the grade separator on this stretch.
Manzoor Ahmad, a tea vendor at TRC said: “Even if it is part of the flyover project, they should not cut down the trees which are adding beauty and attracting the tourists”
The protesters said that the authorities claim that they would plant trees to add the greenery but on the other hand they are involved in open onslaught of these trees.
“They have cut down two 300-year-old Chinars. It is very unfortunate,” they said.
Authorities had planned to axe 11 Chinars on the stretch out which seven were felled earlier in January while rest are being axed now. The felling of Chinars has been entrusted to Forest department.
The people who participated in the protest include doctors, writers, entrepreneurs, students and many others.