Pulwama: Several Chinars in Pulwama district are threatened as some people are inducing premature drying to the trees by putting their trunks on fire.
Residents across the district are complaining that some people with vested interests are engaged in the practice with authorities taking no measures to protect the majestic trees.
Ghulam Muhammad Dar, a resident of Pulwama said that authorities should take measures to stop rampant chopping and damaging of Chinars.
“The matter is not that how many have been cut but what the concerned authorities are doing to save the treated ones,” he said adding that three Chinars were drying in Pulwama town after they were put to mysterious fire.
Dar said that he approached Floriculture officials several times with pleas for intervention but claimed that they were unheard.
“They were around 60 Chinar trees in our village. More than 26 were cut in last ten years by some self interested people,” Fayaz Ahmad, a resident of Wahibugh, some five kilometers from Pulwama, said.
He said that six Chinars were under threat from some persons who were hell bent on inducing premature drying to them so that they can get permission from authorities for their chopping.
Similar complaints were received from Sirno, Manghama, Newa and other villages of the district.
Floriculture officials told Kashmir Reader that they don’t give permission for lopping of Chinar trees. They said that they only provide technical opinion regarding the cause of drying and the permission is granted by Revenue department.
The officials acknowledged that during a recent survey, they found many Chinar trees had been burned in the district.
“We can’t stop people from threatening this tree as, we lack powers to impose fine or to take any legal action against erring person,” they said.
Revenue officials, on the other hand, passed the buck to Floriculture department, stating that permission for chopping is granted by Floriculture department and it is their duty to protect Chinar trees.