Amar Singh College Faces Backlash For Axing 234 Poplars   – Kashmir Observer

Amar Singh College Faces Backlash For Axing 234 Poplars   – Kashmir Observer

KO photograph by Abid Bhat

Srinagar- In what may solely be thought of as a serious blow to the ‘Poplar Avenue’, 234 poplar bushes had been chopped down at 111-years-old Amar Singh College in Srinagar a couple of days in the past, sparking outrage among the many netizens and college students alike.

Infuriated by the vandalizing inexperienced tunnel of poplar bushes at Amar Singh College, many college students threatened to maneuver to the courtroom in opposition to what was termed as an irresponsible act. Nonetheless, the college administration deafened the transfer, saying the bushes had grown outdated, posing risk to life and property.

On social media platforms like Fb and Twitter, pictures of fallen poplar bushes incited indignation amongst customers, particularly college students, who largely blamed the college administration for significantly damaging the poplar avenue.

Terming the axing of a whole lot of poplar bushes inside the college campus as unlucky and arbitrary, consultants stated the traditional stone-and-brick constructing, designed within the Indo-British architectural type, was given a singular character by these poplar bushes.

Roughly 182 poplar bushes, which have reached to their most top, they claimed, had been planted to create an avenue on the principal entrance of the constructing, going through onto a avenue.

State Convener of the INTACH Kashmir Chapter Mohammad Saleem Beigh expressed his disappointment over the pictures and movies of the fallen poplar bushes surfaced on social media websites.

“I used to be shocked to see the very wholesome bushes chopped down. Poplar bushes are part of the cultural cloth that encompasses your complete space together with the college constructing. In what sense, subsequently, is it respectable to cast off a single element? questioned Beigh.

Principal Amar Singh College Professor Sheikh Aijaz Bashir defended the transfer, saying the bushes that had been hacked down had grown outdated, posing a severe risk to life.

“As quickly as I joined the establishment, I used to be knowledgeable about this matter. The Forest Improvement Company was awarded the contract to cut poplar bushes. Since there had been a number of studies of poplar tree falls on the campus, I instantly contacted the Social Forestry Division about the issue,” Prof. Aijaz informed Kashmir Observer.

One of many bushes, he stated, had fallen on a home adjoining to the nursing residence that snowballed into a serious subject later whereas related incidents had been reported on the college every so often.

“Since 4000 college students enter the establishment by way of the primary entrance, they had been additionally coping with this drawback, which was considerably regarding. The Social Forestry Division evaluated the bushes, and the State Forest Company then positioned them up for public sale by way of a correct tendering,” he added.

Nonetheless, many lively college students and alumni’s taking to the social media platforms criticized the college administration, terming the transfer as arbitrary.

“The so-called ‘improvement administration’ has cold-heartedly butchered the aesthetics of Amar Singh College, my beloved alma mater, by mercilessly axing the picturesque poplar tree tunnel. My coronary heart sinks seeing pictures of what was as soon as a serene haven, the place I cherished my college days, now ruthlessly stripped of its greenery. The shameless destruction of our lovely landscapes is unforgivable,” Junaid Dar, a former pupil who works as a journalist, wrote on X.

Nazir Ganaie, one other alumni wrote “In a weird transfer, authorities have chopped down a gorgeous inexperienced tunnel of poplars, symbolic to our Alma mater, #AmarSinghCollege#, Srinagar. Part of our heritage is gone. An emotion misplaced. Historical past erased. Individuals behind this artifical catastrophe ought to cling their heads in disgrace”  

In the meantime, the alumni of Amar Singh College, in a press release expressed deep sense of concern relating to the chopping of poplar bushes.

“As cherished a part of our cultural heritage, these bushes characterize not solely the pure fantastic thing about this historic college however the collective historical past of hundreds of scholars who’ve walked in by way of its gates,” the assertion reads.

The alumni demand excessive degree inquiry be initiated to establish whether or not enough thought was given to the course of actions and what alternate options had been thought of.

Chopping Finished In Compliance With Legislation: A.S College  

The Amar Singh College Authorities right now clarified {that a} current tree public sale was carried out by the Forest Improvement Company inside the College premises and consequent upon that slicing of Willow/ Robina and Poplar bushes was accomplished below due strategy of legislation.

The clarification was issued after the College Authorities confronted extreme criticism on the problem with a number of folks expressing their concern relating to the falling of Inexperienced Avenue of college on social media. On account of this, the college administration got here throughout a whole lot of lapses and misinformation circulating on the social media relating to the problem.

 Divulging the main points, it was revealed that in 2014 floods in Kashmir the establishment remained immersed in water for an extended length of time. The deluge not solely broken the infrastructure but in addition severely broken the bushes. The bushes began uprooting in minor windstorms and inflicting harm to the encircling constructions and started to pose grave security considerations for the scholars, guests and workers.

A number of grievances relating to security and well being considerations had been obtained by the college administration throughout this era and are effectively documented within the college information. These complaints underscored the pressing want for the administration to deal with the security challenges posed by the poplar bushes.

The matter was taken up with Social Forestry Division in 2018-19 by then college authorities and the bushes had been numbered by the involved division and put to   public sale by the J&Ok State Forest Company vide an Open Public sale Discover No. 499-510/CGM/N/SFC/S, Dated: 29/05/2019.

This discover issued by Common Supervisor North J&Ok Forest Company sought bids for the slicing of 202 poplar bushes inside the campus. The discover listed 15 places for public sale and Amar Singh College figured as tenth location in stated open public sale bid record.

The bidding course of was hampered as a result of lockdown and subsequent restrictions throughout Covid-19 Pandemic. With the postponement of the method, the aged and weakened bushes inside the Amar Singh College campus continued to pose grave security threats. Over the previous few years, the campus witnessed quite a lot of cases the place bushes bought uprooted, highlighting the persistent hazard they posed to the security and well-being of the college neighborhood.

The neighborhood members residing within the neighborhood of the college complained quite a lot of occasions in regards to the potential risk brought on by these aged bushes and in addition represented their grievances earlier than the district administration. The college additionally obtained the communication from Nodal officer Grievance cell below the reference no: DCS/SDM/GRIEV/19/1259-62, dated: 10-05-2019, asking the college administration to take cognizance of  a grievance on LG Grievance portal  relating to the health-related issues brought on by the pollen seeds from the poplars.

 Additionally, there have been particular cases inside the college the place the massive bushes fell within the campus throughout wind storms, fortuitously after workplace hours, which contained the extent of injury.

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