New Delhi (NM Bureau): Environment activist on a fast demanding cleaning of Ganga and demanding a ban on hydropower projects on the river died in Haridwar on Wednesday, his close aides informed the media. 87 year old GD Agarwal, popularly known as Gyan Swaroop Sanand, who was on a fast until death for 111 days for Ganga cleaning, was a faculty at Indian Institute of Technology began his fast on June 22 this year.
Deceased Seer Gyan Swaroop’s aid Swami Dayanand told media he today that the environment activist suffered a heart-attack at around noon on Wednesday. Ganga has its origins in the Himalayan ranges and it gets polluted as it travels downwards in the plains of North India with multiple industrialised cities on the banks on Ganga in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar making the Holy river one of the lost polluted one.
River Ganga is considered a God figure for Hindus and the government of India has many schemes and a dedicated ministry to take care of the river. “If the draft is enacted by parliament, most of the problems of Gangaji would be resolved for a long time. The present government can use their brut majority and whip it. I will break my fast the day it is passed. This is my last responsibility. If they are able to get it passed before the draft passed in the next session, then good. If not… many people die unhappy. It’s time for the future generation to take responsibility for the holy river,” Agarwal had told the Indian newspaper New Indian Express in an interview before his death.
In his bid to put forth his request for clean Ganga, Agarwal had written a number of letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several ministers who have been in charge of rejuvenating the Ganga river.
A recent performance audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India had found several deficiencies and shortfalls in the implementation of clean Ganga mission by the Indian government.