SRINAGAR: In a first of its kind achievement in the country, the J&K Forest Department has successfully completed the transplanting operation of two tall Chinars at the famous Char Chinar, Dal Lake Srinagar to restore its erstwhile glory.
Acting upon the directions of Lt. Governor and instructions of Chief Secretary, J&K, Forest Department formulated a strategy in the month of October, 2021 in consultation with technical experts of Floriculture Department, LCMA and Scientists of SKUAST and JKFRI for restoration of ‘Ropa Lank’ in Dal Lake popularly known as Char Chinar, by transplanting tall Chinars – the State tree of Jammu & Kashmir.
It was given out that only one healthy mature tree exists on spot requiring no treatment. The decaying second tree was given silvicultural /chemical treatment for development of existing root suckers into a substitute tree. Two new tall transplants were required to be planted at the 3rd and 4th tree sites for which two large pits with 6 feet diameter and 5 feet depth were dug out in advance before onset of winter. Infected soil was removed and good quality soil brought from outside the Dal Lake for the purpose.
Two candidate transplants with height of about 25 feet and girth of 28 inches each were finally selected at Dal Foreshore road, where they were experiencing stressful conditions. After obtaining legal permission for their removal, the two transplants were systematically dug out along with roots and balls of earth and lifted by using a long arm hydraulic Crane. They were transported to Char Chinar on a large barge pulled by a tug boat.
The unique operation was executed w.e.f 19th February and completed on the unique date 22-02-2022 when the two Chinars were finally planted, braving rain and snow on the day.
The public in general and tourists in particular are requested to be careful in visiting Char Chinar as the transplants have been secured upright with the help of guy-ropes and wooden stakes to withstand strong winds blowing in Dal Lake.
Besides, the tourists may also explore the option of visiting a similar site called ‘Sona Lank’ near Hazratbal foreshore road.
The post planting operations shall continue with the active support of the Floriculture Department, especially the development of aesthetics.
The task was taken up on a mission mode driven by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests & HoFF, J&K. Conservator of Forests, Srinagar Circle, Nodal Officer/Coordinator for the operation expressed gratitude to his team of various stakeholder Departments, officers and experts associated with the operation including Forest officers DFO Urban Division and particularly Range Officer, Timber Range for his exemplary field efforts.
The transplanting of tall Chinars is the first of its kind activity in the Country and the Department is hopeful of their survival and growth with the prayers and support of the people.