IIT alumni form action group to save the Ganges

February 18th, 2009 - 9:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Feb 18 (IANS) Former students of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Wednesday came together to form an action group to save the ecosystem around river Ganges.
The group ‘IITians for Holy Ganga’ is demanding immediate stoppage of work on the hydro electric projects on the Ganges river in its traverse through the upper reaches of the Himalayas.

A professor from IIT-Kanpur, G.D Aggarwal, has been sitting on a hunger strike since Jan 13 in the national capital with similar demands.

“We want an uninterrupted flow of the river Ganga in its original channel stretching around 125 km between Gangotri and Uttarkashi in Uttarkhand. However, the central government has begun constructing hydro electric projects in the stretch which is likely to dry majority of the river,” said Paritosh Tyagi, an IIT Roorkee alumnus and former chairman of Central Pollution Control Board.

The group has demanded that work on the Lahoari Nag Pala Hydro Electric Project in the stretch be stopped immediately.

“Following our demands, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had decided to form a Ganga Basin Authority to look after the management of the basin. But despite this the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) is continuing the Lohari Nag Pala project,” said Magsaysay awardee Rajendra Singh, who has also joined the group.

K.K. Dhar, an IIT Delhi alumnus, said: “We want that government to stop the project and let the Ganga Basin Authority examine all issues in great depth”.

The members also expressed concern for the deteriorating health condition of Aggarwal and asked the prime minister to immediately look into the matter.

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