Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], April 22 (ANI): Under an extensive plantation drive by the Department of Floriculture, Kashmir, Chinar trees (also known as 'Boen') are being planted with an aim to preserve their heritage value.
Speaking to ANI, Director of Floriculture Department, Farooq Ahmad Rather said, "Unfortunately, the number of Chinar trees has been reducing over the past few years. According to surveys, there used to around 50,000 Chinar trees in the valley, but now unfortunately it has reduced to about 35,000."
Farooq added, "We are distributing Chinar saplings in all districts at free of cost from March 1."
"We are involving the general public, NGOs, and even paramilitary and other forces because they have large grounds. And whoever is interested in planting this tree, we provide them with the sapling and also guide them about how to plant Chinar and nurture it," he said.
A senior gardner, Mohamad Ramzan Wani said, "Chinar trees add beauty to the valley of Kashmir."
Chinar Development Officer, Tariq Habib said that this plantation drive is necessary for creating awareness amongst people about the importance of Chinar trees.
"It is also important from an environmental perspective. With the increasing population, we have shorter green spaces," he said.
According to Tariq, Chinar trees attract tourists in the valley.
Waqar Hussain, a tourist praising its beauty said, "I have been to other hill stations but the beauty that I have witnessed here, I have not seen it before."
"Talking about Chinar plants, those are the assets of Kashmir. Chinar plants attract tourists a lot. The look and greenery of these plants are mesmerizing," he added.
Supporting the initiative fully, Hussain said, "This is a very nice initiative and all of us should support it." (ANI)