The villagers of Khaniyara in Kangra district, Himachal Pradesh, have sought the intervention of the High Court against local slate quarries which are threatening the area's ecology. To curb illegal quarrying inside the neighbouring Kembal forest, the court has ordered the state forest department to demarcate the forest land; the mining and geological departments had earlier expressed their inability to check illegal and unscientific mining for the lack of land ownership rights. The State Pollution Control Board, on its part, will stop clearing permits for quarrying from February 1996.