Himachal Pradesh Forest Minister, Govind Singh Thakur on Thursday said the Himachal Pradesh government was aggressively working towards increasing the forest cover of the state.

A plantation drive was also launched in the state in July in which 17.5 lakh saplings were planted all over the state, which involved participation of 86,000 people.

He was speaking at Van Mahotsav organised by Shoolini University in Solan here on Thursday.

The minister also laid the foundation stone of animal house which would come up to help the students of School of Pharmaceutical Sciences to carry out their research work there, wherein the animals will be bred in the university itself for the laboratories. He also visited the Central Instrumentation Facility (CIF) Laboratory in the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Around 2,000 saplings were planted on the occasion by the students of the university. Prof PK Khosla, Vice Chancellor, Shoolini University and Prof Atul Khosla, Pro-Vice-Chancellor welcomed the minister along with senior faculty members of the university.

The minister further narrated the importance of trees to the students saying that youth are the building blocks of the nation. He lauded the research work being done by Shoolini University and said it was a moment of pride for state that such good work was being done.