86-years-old Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand, formerly known as Professor G.D. Agarwal, of IIT Kanpur and Member-Secretary Central Pollution Control Board, is on fast unto death at Haridwar since 22 June 2018, demanding a law for conservation of river Ganga.
Haridwar: Prominent activist urged the government to save the Ganga river conservation crusader Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand, who has been on a hunger strike (fast unto death) since June 22 demanding a law for the conservation of the river.
Medha Patkar, Swami Agnivesh, Sohail Hashmi, Writer and Film Maker and Sandeep Pandey, Socialist Party, were some of the signatories of the signature campaign. “86-years-old Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand, formerly known as Professor G.D. Agarwal, of IIT Kanpur and Member-Secretary Central Pollution Control Board, is on fast unto death at Haridwar since 22 June 2018, demanding a law for conservation of river Ganga. He has played an important role in stalling 3 hydroelectric projects to ensure the uninterrupted flow of Bhagirathi, which becomes Ganga after meeting Alaknanda, for the initial 175 kms,” the letter stated.
“Close to Rs. 500 crores were spent as part of the previous Ganga Action Plan and now Rs. 7,000 cr, out of Rs. 20,000 cr, the proposed budget for Namami Gange project under the current government, has been spent but most of industrial waste and sewage continues to flow untreated in Ganga similar to other rivers like Sabarmati in the country because, firstly, the installed capacity of Sewage Treatment Plants and Common Effluent Treatment Plants is woefully short of the total waste generated and, secondly, whatever capacity has been built remains non-functional for various reasons, including corruption,” it said.
“It is shocking that this government which projects itself as a champion of Hindutva and changed the name of Water Resources Ministry to include Ganga Rejuvenation in its name is completely silent on Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand's fast and the media is colluding in this conspicuous conspiracy. We demand that the government enter into a dialogue with Swami Sanand to save his life and take some concrete steps to save the rivers and other water bodies of the country,” they wrote.
On Aug 5, he once again rejected Union Minister Uma Bharti’s plea to end his stir, saying he won’t do the same until his demand for passing the draft of Ganga Protection Act was met, reported The Tribune.
“On July 10, about 20 people, including policemen, forcefully dragged him from Matri Sadan Ashram in Haridwar, where he was observing fast, into an ambulance to Dehradun-based Doon Hospital. Later, on July 12, he was shifted to AIIMS, Rishikesh. During his eleven-day stay at AIIMS, doctors attempted to feed him through the drip. However, they failed,” reported The New Indian Express.
If you want to add your name to the signature campaign 'Save Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand, Ganga and other water bodies', send a mail to Prakarsh Srivastava at [email protected] or call or send an sms to 9818554465.