Dehradun: Dressed in crisp white kurta pyjamas, chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and his ministers hit the streets with brooms in their hands on Monday for the Swachh Bharat initiative in Uttarakhand.
Looking to make a ‘clean start’, all the 10 ministers spent over an hour cleaning away dirt and muck across nine locations of the hill state.
The decision was taken at the Cabinet’s first meeting here on Sunday evening in order to give an impetus to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship programme. Officialy, it was the first major programme conducted by the new government in Uttarakhand.
Trivendra Singh Rawat along with cabinet minister Madan Kaushik led the cleanliness exercise in Haridwar. Satpal Maharaj oversaw the drive in Satpuli (Pauri district), Prakash Pant in Doiwala (Dehradun), Harak Singh Rawat in Swargashram (Pauri), Yashpal Arya in Roorkee (Haridwar), Arvind Pandey in Kotdwar (Pauri) and Subodh Uniyal in Rishikesh (Dehradun).
Ministers of state Rekha Arya and Dhan Singh Rawat carried out the drive in Vikasnagar and Mussoorie respectively in Dehradun district for encouraging the locals to keep their surroundings clean.
“It (cleanliness mission) is an ongoing one...the motive behind today’s activity was to send a message that we (the government) are very serious for working towards a Swachh Uttarakhand,” the chief minister told the media.
“Making a city clean is not the government’s responsibility alone...you all should take it a personal responsibility,” Yashpal Arya appealed to the people through the media. The MLA from Bajpur constituency in Udham Singh Nagar district oversaw the cleanliness drive at Adarsh Nagar locality in Roorkee.
The opposition Congress was quick to dismiss the drive as a mere “photo-op exercise”. “It was nothing but a drama to grab eyeballs. There are six municipal corporations in Uttarakhand - all of them with BJP mayors and all of them filled with garbage. Had it (BJP) been really serious about the issue of (to be added) cleanliness, it would have already got the cities cleaned by now,” Uttarakhand Congress chief spokesperson Mathura Dutt Joshi told HT.