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Amar Singh College clarifies tree felling decision, says student safety Top priority

Amar Singh College Prioritizes Student Safety Amid Tree Felling Controversy

Amar Singh College in Srinagar has addressed the recent controversy surrounding the felling of trees on its campus, emphasizing that student safety was the primary concern behind the decision. In a statement issued Wattan Daily (WD), the college administration clarified that the removal of “aged” trees was deemed necessary to mitigate safety risks to students, visitors, and staff.

The administration highlighted the aftermath of the 2014 floods in Kashmir, which led to severe damage to both infrastructure and trees on the college campus. Subsequently, the weakened trees became susceptible to uprooting during minor windstorms, prompting numerous safety concerns documented by the college administration over the years.

Efforts to address the safety challenges posed by the trees date back to 2018-19 when discussions were initiated with the Social Forestry Department. Despite efforts to mitigate risks, the process faced setbacks, including delays in the bidding process for the cutting of 202 poplar trees within the campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The college emphasized that the decision to conduct an open auction for tree cutting was undertaken in adherence to due process of law. However, delays in the bidding process allowed the aged and weakened trees to persist, exacerbating safety concerns on the campus.

Community members and district authorities also expressed apprehensions regarding the potential dangers posed by the trees, particularly during windstorms. The administration reiterated the necessity of urgent action to address safety hazards, citing specific instances of trees falling during adverse weather conditions.

In response to social media backlash and misinformation regarding the felling of trees, the college reiterated its commitment to preserving the institution’s legacy. It announced plans for a massive plantation drive in April as part of ongoing efforts to maintain a green environment on the campus while ensuring the safety and well-being of its stakeholders.

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