GMC hostel also has hundreds of trees
Srinagar: Despite orders by the J&K High Court in 2015 to axe all the Russian poplar trees, the administration had failed to remove these trees from populated zones.
The court orders were meant to tackle the menace of flying fluffy poplar seeds in large numbers that lead to health hazards among the people.
Students of Government Degree College Bemina and local residents are facing a tough time because of the flying poplar seeds.
The college compound had more than 400 poplars standing, and despite court orders they have not been axed.
Principal, Govt. Degree College Bemina Mushtaq Ahmad told Kashmir Reader that are waiting for approval from Higher Education Department to cut down the poplar trees in the campus.
“These poplars create problem for everyone in the campus. College authorities cannot cut down these trees by themselves as it comes under Higher Education Department. We sent them letters many times and are waiting for their approval, until that we cannot do anything”.
He added that the college had chopped 556 Russian poplar trees in 2016 in the first phase.
“We have completed all formalities and documents for second phase as well which will include cutting down of remaining 434 Russian poplars. We are waiting for the permission which we have not been granted by the Higher Education Department yet,” he said.
Students of the college said that the poplars creates severe problems for them.
“We cannot breathe properly as these pollens cause allergy. Our many classmates are suffering from throat infection, fever and cold. We have to wear face masks to avoid these irritant pollens,” a group of students said.
“I spent whole day with these pollen pesters at college but it does not stop here. After college hours I have to bear same situation at my home as the authorities have failed to remove these Russian poplars from my home side as well,” said Nasir, another student and a resident of Maisuma. The nearby Boys Hostel for Government Medical College, also faces the same problem as a number of Russian poplar trees are standing in the lawns of hostel, creating trouble for students living in the hostel. Azad Ahmad, Estates officer, Government Medical college said there is a court stay on their axing.
“The Court has put stay order on the removal of these Russian poplar trees in the hostel as there is an issue with some local firm. There are almost 300-400 poplar trees planted in the lawns of hostel and can only be removed when the stay order will be quashed.”
Dr Naveed Nazir Shah, HOD at the Chest Disease Hospital told Kashmir Reader said the Russian poplars are not the only cause of allergy.
“There are numerous pollens present in the atmosphere so it is not only the Russian-Poplar which is the culprit. It is followed by lawn grass, deodar, Kikkar and Chinar pollen. Different people are allergic to different other pollens as well. It may be the one factor but not the only one”, Dr Naveed said.
“These pollens can affect any age group especially it is dangerous for asthmatic patients and they need to use masks as precautionary measures. We have recently installed the allergy lab and in future we will be able to come up with the count of pollen allergens,” he added.