Photo Courtesy: out Look India

Sultanpur Lodhi (Punjab), July 17: Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Sunday announced the launch of a statewide campaign to clean rivers and drains.

Addressing a gathering here during a function to mark 22nd anniversary of cleaning of the holy Kali Bein rivulet, the Chief Minister said Punjab is a sacred land of great gurus and saints, who have shown the way to preserve the environment.

He said following in the footsteps of the gurus, the state government will soon embark upon a massive campaign to clean the natural resources in form of rivers and drains in the state. While there is no dearth of funds for this noble cause, he called upon people to support it and make the campaign a mass movement.

He also said the state government was making concerted efforts to enhance the green cover, for which ‘Shaheed Bhagat Singh Haryiwal Lehar’ programme has been started.

Mann urged the people to come forward in large numbers to make Punjab clean, green and pollution free.

The Chief Minister said the government is also making efforts for checking depletion of groundwater by ensuring optimum utilisation of surface water, thereby reducing the pressure on groundwater.

This year the government has incentivised direct sowing of rice (DSR) due to which 20 lakh acres have been covered by opting this method. Mann said in another initiative the government has given MSP on ‘moong’ to diversify from the wheat-paddy cycle and conserve water.

Slamming the previous state governments for ruining the ecosystem of the state, the Chief Minister said it is unfortunate that those who were entrusted the responsibility of serving the state had ruined the ecosystem for their own vested interests.

Mann said those ministers who were supposed to enhance green cover by planting trees did the opposite by mercilessly allowing felling of trees and claiming commission from it.

Welcoming the Chief Minister, renowned environmentalist and Rajya Sabha Member Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal apprised him about the efforts made for cleaning of the Kali Bein in the past 22 years.

He also stressed on the need to clean the Buddha Nullah and the Chitti Bein on the same pattern with the support of the government.

Earlier, the Chief Minister planted a sapling on the bank of the Kali Bein. He also drank water from the Kali Bein and said he was blessed to have got this opportunity.

Source: IANS