Paying rich tributes to Mahatma Gandhi and former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri on their birth anniversaries, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday urged people to take a pledge to keep their surroundings clean.
He also urged them to join hands with the government to achieve the goal of 'Swacch Bharat Mission', launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of 'Gandhi Jayanti' in 2014.
Khattar was speaking after launching Swachhta Pakhwada in Panchkula. State Assembly Speaker and MLA from Panchkula Gian Chand Gupta was also present on the occasion.
The chief minister also launched a state-of-the-art mobile water testing laboratory van, which will be an effective mode of surveillance of drinking water quality in rural areas in the state, an official statement said.
Khattar said the government has decided to celebrate Swachhta Pakhwada in all cities of the state from October 2 to October 17, with the objective of bringing a fortnight of intense focus on the issues and practices of 'Swachhata'.
He said during these 15 days, special focus would be given on the cleanliness of sewerage systems and desilting of ponds.
In the ongoing COVID-19 situation, ensuring cleanliness has become even more important, Khattar said, adding the government would be able to achieve this objective only through the active participation of the people.
Today we are celebrating the birth anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, the two great personalities who had made an unmatched contribution for ensuring the freedom of our nation and prosperity of the people, he said.
Khattar said Mahatma Gandhi always had cleanliness and sanitation closest to his heart and he always wanted to see India clean and green.
He said Lal Bahadur Shastri gave the slogan of 'Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan' and worked towards strengthening the security system of the country and upliftment of weaker sections of the society.
Following the call of the Prime Minister (Modi), the Haryana government has launched Swacchta Abhiyan (campaign) in the state and became the first state in the country to achieve 100 percent ODF status in rural areas, Khattar said, adding that now all urban areas in Haryana have also been certified as open defecation free.
The chief minister exhorted the people, especially the youth, to take a pledge to work voluntarily towards making the country green and clean.
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