Vice Chairman, Himachal Pradesh Forest Development Corporation Kewal Singh Pathania has lauded the efforts of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and Industries Minister Mukesh Agnihotri to get approved the environment clearances from GoI to the State, for less than five hectares of leases for river-bed mining.

He said that this decision would not only benefit thousands of self employed youth who were engaged in the avocation but also help to check the illegal mining and would certainly help in reduction of prices of sand and gravel, which escalated and faced shortage due to blanket ban on mining by the Green tribunal.

Pathania said that the decision of the Union Government to vest the power with the State Government to grant environment clearances for less than five hectares of mines would certainly help in quick disposal of environment clearances.

He said that it had been possible due to concerted efforts of the Chief Minister and Industries Minister who time and again had pursued the matter with the Government of India.

He said that it would be beneficial for about 3500 registered tractor owners of district Kangra and other self employed youth engaged in the avocation who repeatedly had made representation to the Chief Minister in this regard. Besides, it would also help to accelerate the pace of development activities which had come to a halt due to non availability of raw material for construction works in the State.