Ex-IIT professor to fast unto death for Ganges

May 13th, 2008 - 11:51 am ICT by admin  

Agra, May 13 (IANS) Pained at the way the Ganges has turned into a trickle at some places due to damns built along the river, a former IIT professor has decided to go on a fast unto death to save “Gangaji”. G.D. Agarwal, 76, also an environmental scientist, says nothing is being done to “save the Ganga”, considered sacred by Hindus. He has decided to go on a fast unto death from June 13, which is also observed as Ganga Dussehra.

Agarwal, who was member secretary of the Central Pollution Control Board, told IANS he is deeply disturbed “about the manner in which Gangaji has been treated by successive governments over the years. We have been tampering with Gangaji, in particular the Bhagirathi. The Tehri dam is only one among many glaring examples resulting in the river running like a trickle many times. At times there has been no water even at Haridwar. This is a severe blow to the faith of a large majority of people in this country.”

Keen to avert further “damage” to the river, Agarwal wants the stretch between Gomukh, the source of the river in the Himalayas, and Uttarkashi, in Uttarakhand, to be untouched by human intervention.

“Unfortunately, on such issues of so-called ‘development’, all governments and all political parties have similar views and hence the schemes go on undisturbed. It is almost a global phenomenon - the way our elite, the powerful, perceive ‘development’,” said Agarwal, who has inspired many prominent people, including the late Anil Agarwal, who founded the Centre for Science and Environment.

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