SRINAGAR, Jammu and Kashmir

Fearing that pollen from female poplar trees may aggravate COVID-19 or coronavirus pandemic, authorities in Indian-administered Kashmir have ordered axing thousands of trees.

With the onset of spring, the tree, known locally as Russi Frass, releases pollen in the form of cotton tufts, leading to breathlessness in some people. But experts say, there was no scientific study to back the claim that these pollens could exacerbate respiratory diseases or transmit COVID-19 pandemic.

Both farmers and environmentalists in the region are up against the government decision, describing it as a manmade ecological disaster and depriving thousands of

Read more: Authorities in Kashmir axing poplar trees to fight COVID-19