Abid Hussain

In Khansahib area, decades-old walnut trees face govt axe

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Khansahib (Budgam), Jun 26: Around 30 walnut trees have been axed by the government in Khansahib area of Budgam district in last few days.

Eye witnesses told ‘Kashmir Images’ that two-and-half dozen walnut trees were chopped down by Power Development Department (PDD) on pretext of laying transmission lines through Khansahib area.

They said that cutting of trees could have been easily prevented but the government did not seem to have had such plans.

“We don’t understand why the trees were cut as the transmission lines are situated very far away from the trees,” said the locals.

They said  that axed trees were fully grown and would yield good production each year but the erring officials chopped them off without taking into consideration their economic benefits.

Interestingly, the place where the trees were axed is barely 200 meters away from the residence of MLA Khansahib.

It is pertinent to mention that felling of walnut trees is strictly banned in Kashmir.

When contacted, Executive Engineer, Sub Transmission Division Budgam, Wali Mohammad said that he has no information about the chopping of walnut trees in Khansahib.

He added that the area falls in the jurisdiction of Superintending Engineer (SE), PDD, Javed Yousuf. However, despite repeated attempts Yousuf did not respond to the calls of this reporter.

Meanwhile, Tehsildar Khansahib, Syed Qawam ud Din told ‘Kashmir Images’ that Divisional Commissioner Kashmir has given permission for axing of walnut trees in order to lay down Amargarh-Samba transmission line.

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