Pollen Menace is Back in Kashmir

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Rameez Makhdoomi
Srinagar, May 12 (KNB): Unfortunately enough, In Kashmir one witnesses here the damage causing trees like Russian Poplars more in fashion and highly valued trees like Walnut, Maple (Chinar) facing axe and declining with every passing hour.



Come the Spring and Summer Season, be it Students, laborers, roadside vendors or any office-goers these days we see them more often wearing masks and this a common sight in the valley now especially in the month of May and June as it is the peak pollen shedding season for the Russian poplar. The year 2018 is no different as pollen related allergies are once again showing upward trend. Pollen allergies are caused by pollen grain from poplar trees in Kashmir and despite ban, it is learned that Russian poplar are still being sold in Kashmir and it seems that the administration has no interest in implementing the ban it had imposed sometime back and taken concrete steps to stop the large-scale sale of these plants.



Pertinently, Russian Poplars’, are on demand on a large-scale here, particularly because its wood is the key component for fruit boxes and also fetches good returns from plywood industry.
Bashir Ahmad Bhat, a commoner stated – “Pollen is big hazard for Kashmiris. Every year thanks to pollen produced by these Russian Poplars the beautiful Spring season has been turned into nightmare for we Kashmiris. Towards the end of every spring season and by the onset of summers, the poplar trees shed cotton-like material carrying pollens and seeds, which according to many health experts are highly allergic and as such detrimental to the health of people here. We have also been aware of the risk for those suffering from respiratory disorders are also dangerously high. I have personally experienced infection from this dirty pollen produced. Replacement of this tree should be thought.”
Masses are urging that local administration should effectively implement the blanket ban it had imposed on plantation of Russian poplar trees in the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir keeping in view the large-scale complaints of allergy being caused by its pollen and its harm to our overall health and environ. (KNB)