Promoting plantation of medicinal plants in Himachal Pradesh, the state government has planted 1.33 Crore medicinal plants and herbs during the last four years.

“The state government has targeted to plant 35 lakh more medicinal plants in the year 2017-18. Apart from this, for increasing the green cover afforestation was carried out in 48,000 hectares of the area, including planting broad leaves and fruit plants,” said chief minister Virbhadra Singh.

He said this while inaugurating the 68th State Level Van Mahotsav at Pirdi in Kullu district on Friday.

He also planted a sapling of Devdaar. "When I became the CM of the state for the first time in 1983, the van mafia in the state was quite active. I firmly made it a point to save the forest cover of the state and banned the green felling in the state though I faced a lot of opposition, but after a long drawn battle the then Congress government was able to put an end to the activities of van mafia," said CM.

He said that after lot of persuasion we convinced people to use corrugated boxes for packaging and transport of fruits, particularly the apples. This was a step taken to avoid green felling.  

The CM said that as per the survey by Indian Forest Research Institute, Dehradoon in 2015, there was an increase of 13 square kilometers of forest area. Today the green cover was around 14,683 sq kms, he said.