The state government has planned to plant in the Valley 12,000 saplings of the majestic Chinar tree, known for its majestic foliage and longevity that may extend up to over four centuries.
According to official data, there are 38,401 Chinar trees as per census carried out in 2007 in Kashmir valley.
“These include 5,306 Chinar trees which are above the age of 400 years,” an official spokesman said today.
The spokesman, however, did not give the timeline for completion of the plantation drive which is likely to begin on March 21, the Arbour Day, next year.
“The Floriculture Department has a proposal to plant 12,000 chinar saplings in the Valley,” the spokesman said.
The crimson-coloured leaves of the Chinar are a major tourist attraction towards the end of autumn in Kashmir.
The Forest Department is also planning to plant of 19 lakh saplings of Deodar and Fir trees across the state, he said.
Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Asgar Samoon yesterday convened a meeting regarding census of Chinar trees in the Valley.
Samoon directed deputy commissioners of all the districts in the Valley and the line officers to update the census of Chinar trees and submit the report to his office.
Felling of Chinar tree, which grows at a very slow rate, is illegal in Jammu and Kashmir and can attract penal provisions under the state law.
Chinar has also been source of inspiration for poets and authors, reflected in subject matters and titles of books like ‘Aatish-e-Chinaar’ (The Fire of Chinar) written by National Conference founder Shiekh Mohammad Abdullah.