People from all walks of life celebrated the city's 437th year of existence by marching from the Akal Takht to Company Bagh early Friday morning. The procession, which was flagged off by Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh, was led by Nihang horseback riders, with NCC cadets, members of NGOs, students and children also joining in, and ended at the historic Ram Bagh Gardens. The city's municipal commissioner, Pradeep Sabharwal, and the Punjab NCC group commander, Col RS Bath, were guests of honour on the occasion.
Addressing the huge gathering, deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat said: "Initiatives aimed at improving the city's quality of life like Eco-Amritsar are laudable. We seek the cooperation of all citizens to assist the administration in ensuring sustainable development of the city". He urged every resident to pledge to plant a sapling and nurture one tree every year.
Talking about Eco-Amritsar, its chairman Gunbir Singh said, "The inspiration behind the initiative was Bhagat Puran Singh, an environmentalist who also championed the causes of the destitute."
Sabharwal expressed satisfaction with the pace of work to spruce up the city, adding the "waste to vegetable" programme and the "zero disposal park" project among others were now fully operational. He pledged support for similar ventures and urged city residents to continually provide suggestions on resolving civic problems.