Port Blair, Sept.16: The Union Minister of Science & Technology, Earth Science, Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan has called for keeping the environment clean and to preserve it for the future generation. He said this while flagging off the fortnight long cleanliness drive in the Islands, ‘Swachhata Hi Seva’ at a function held at Tiranga Park here today. The Lt. Governor, Admiral D K Joshi, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, NM, VSM (Retd.), the Member of Parliament, Mr. Bishnu Pada Ray, Chief Secretary, Mr. Chetan B Sanghi, Chairperson PBMC, Mr. Indra Pal Singh and BJP State President, Mr. Vishal Jolly were also present on the occasion. ‘Swachhata hi Seva’ drive is the result of nationwide appeal made by the Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi of keeping our surroundings clean. The ‘Swachhata Hi Seva’ was launched in the country by the Prime Minister today. The Minister was on a day’s visit to the Islands.
The Minister said that it is the responsibility of every individual to keep the surroundings clean. “It will be a great tribute to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, if we fulfill his dream of a clean India. The Prime Minister has appealed everyone to take part in the ‘Swachhta Hi Seva’ and make a clean and green India”, he said. Swachhata Mission, as initiated by the Prime Minister, has become a people’s movement in the country and everyone is actively taking part in the Mission, he said. The Minister said that during the last four years, eight crore toilets have been constructed under Swachch Bharat Mission and four lakh villages and nearly 400 districts have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF).
The Minister lauded the strong mechanism that has been developed by the A&N Administration for converting solid wastes into compost. He also praised the steps taken by the Administration and the Port Blair Municipal Council in curbing plastic pollution in the Islands. “Clean environment that we inherited from our forefathers must be restored”, he said.
The Minister appealed to the A&N Administration, NGOs and citizens to join ‘Green Good Deeds’ movement to contribute in making clean and green environment. He also urged everyone present on the occasion to download mobile apps of Green Good Deeds.
The Minister also paid rich tributes to freedom fighter Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and all the freedom fighters who had undergone the pain and misery in the Cellular Jail for the Independence of the country. Earlier, the Minister administered the ‘Swachhata Pledge’ to the gathering on the occasion.
The Minister distributed kits to some business establishments, besides the Andaman Chamber of Commerce & Industry on the occasion. The kits, arranged by PBMC, contained eco- friendly bags and pamphlets on ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’. The Minister along with the Lt. Governor, MP, BJP State President and other dignitaries also took part in ‘Swachhata Hi Seva’ Abhiyan with Safai Karmacharis of the PBMC at the Ratnam Market area and performed ‘shramdaan’. The programme was organised by the Port Blair Municipal Council.