Jairam Ramesh holds Uttarakhand responsible for ascetic’s death

June 14th, 2011 - 9:41 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 14 (IANS) Terming as unfortunate the death of an ascetic who was on an indefinite fast to save the river Ganga from pollution, Minister of Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh Tuesday held the Uttarakhand government responsible for the tragedy.

“I am extremely sorry that the swamy who was fasting has died…it should not have happened,” Jairam Ramesh told reporters here.

“I have spoken to the chief minister on a number of occasions that illegal mining is rampant in Uttarakhand, that illegal mining enjoys political patronage at the highest levels. But no action was taken,” he added.

Mining is a major factor which leads to the pollution of rivers.

“In view of the fact that the state government has demonstrated a continued reluctance to take action against illegal mining, I think we don’t have any option but to invoke section five of the Environment Protection Act and take action on our own,” the minister further said.

Swami Nigamananda, a 34-year-old ascetic, died in a Dehradun hospital Monday after fasting for two-and-a-half months in an effort to raise concerns and save the Ganga from pollution.

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