About 100 kilometers from Srinagar, the Kaman post, the historic border cross over on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road is viewing activity of a different kind.
Army in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture is planting over 2000 samplings of Chinar trees in and around the area on the Line of control. Chinars are deciduous trees known for its longevity and spreading crown only found in Kashmir and Iran in the East. Kashmir has about 40,000 chinars, popularly called "bouian" some of which are even 500 to 600 years old.
Army says there aim is to make the border green. "The Indian armys is not just responsible for security of the country but also has a social responsibility being awams army," said J S Brar, army's spokesman in Srinagar.
Dr G S Naqash, Director floriculture Kashmir said, "Kaman post is a historic place and with the cross Loc bus travelling every week the area which is denuded needs to be turned green and beautiful. Things between the two neighbouring countries (India and Pakistan) are improving and there may be better relations in the future so we can expect more people passing through the area, it doesn't need to look barren".
"Chinars are our identity so we will greet visitors from across the border with them," said D P Singh, DFO, Social Forestry Baramulla.
Army responded to an advertisement placed in the local media by the department of floriculture asking for public participation in a Chinar plantation drive. "We have provided them around 7000 saplings of Chinar and they will be planting and taking care of the trees in many areas across the valley like Baramulla in North, Anantnag in South besides the LOC," Dr Naqash.
Dr Naqash says his department has provided the saplings free of cost and is hopeful the survival rate would be better in army managed areas. "We have seen that survival of trees in areas managed by army is 90 % while in civilian areas it is around 40 percent," said he.
A few days back army had undertaken a similar initiative in Bandipora district about 70 kilometers from here-mostly in areas prone to mud slides.