Srinagar, Mar 16 (ANI): Kashmir's floriculture department started a massive drive to save the region's famous Chinar trees.
Masood Samoon, divisional commissioner of Kashmir, formally launched the drive by planting Chinar saplings in the heart of city.
Samoon said that one way of saving these rare trees was to plant five new ones in place of each tree being felled.
"Today in all the districts Chinar are being planted. If we have to save them, then this is the only cure. I'm not saying that don't cut Chinar tress for development work, but if you cut one tree, plant five in its place," said Samoon.
The number of Chinar trees, locally known as 'Boen', has been dwindling since the last four decades.
Residents said that Chinar symbolized Kashmir and all steps should be taken to preserve them.
"This tree is grown in Kashmir and it is nowhere else in India. So it is kind of an identity of Kashmir and until it's being publicized and be known to people, Chinar won't survive. The more we have information about it, the more we know about it, and the more we will be involved in saving it," said Zain-Ul-Aabideen, a resident.
The Mughal rulers introduced the trees to Kashmir in the early 16th century. Tourists have chronicled the mighty Chinars as the magic of Kashmir.
The Chinar tree is an integral part of Kashmiri culture and experiencing its cool shade is said to be conducive to health.
In a bid to preserve these rare trees, March 15 is being observed as the Chinar Day. By Bilal (ANI)