Curbing poplar menace: HC summons Budgam’s revenue officials to submit report

Curbing poplar menace: HC summons Budgam’s revenue officials to submit report
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SRINAGAR: The High Court on Thursday issued directions to two top revenue officials of the central district Budgam to apprise the court on action taken against curbing the menace of polar trees. The deputy commissioner and Tehsildar were asked to present themselves in the court on next date of hearing.
On previous hearing court had asked report from DC Budgam regarding the issue but it was not submitted. Hearing the PIL on Poplar trees, the division bench comprising Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey directed DC Budgam and Tehsildar to be present before the court on 6 December.
The petition was filed by one Ghulam Mohammad Bazaz of Srinagar in 2015 who had stated that he had approached the deputy commissioner of Srinagar with a written application, stating that his neighbour has planted Russian poplar trees, causing serious health issues to his family, especially to his ailing mother. He had also submitted before the court that despite assurances from the authorities, nothing was done.
The court had taken cognizance of the matter and later the petition was turned into Public interest litigation and court had directed all district commissioners to remove the poplar trees.
Underscoring their potential threat to human health, the court in its order of May 12, 2015 had directed all deputy commissioners to issue appropriate orders for immediate removal of poplar trees of Russian species from across the Valley.
The Court had said that tehsildars of all the Tehsils would be personally responsible for ensuring the compliance of the orders which would be issued by all the Deputy Commissioners of the Kashmir Valley.
On June 5, 2015, the Court had again directed deputy commissioners of the Valley and tehsildars concerned to implement the order dated 12-05-2015 without any further delay.
The Court had also asked its Registry to seek report from Director SKIMS, Director Health Services Kashmir and Principal Government Medical College Srinagar about the approximate number of patients being treated for the disease afflicted by the pollen seed of Russian species Poplar trees.