March 23rd, 2012
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Environmentalist GD Agarwal ends fast

Environmentalist Agarwal ends fastNew Delhi: Environmentalist GD Agarwal who has been on a fast-unto-death since January 14 to save river Ganga, ended his fast today after the government agreed to some of his demands. Mr Agarwal known as Swami Gyan Swarup Sanand has been campaigning for years for a better government effort to clean up the Ganga.

Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal and Minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office V Narayanasamy met him at Delhi’s AIIMS hospital earlier today, and agreed to most of his demands. “He will break his fast today (Friday) as we got a communique from the government accepting our demands,”Mr Agarwals nephew told the media.  He stopped drinking water on March 9. He was brought to Delhi on Monday from Varanasi after his health deteriorated.

The Save Ganga activist has been unhappy with the ineffective functioning of the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA), a body set up by the central government for cleaning the Ganga.  He has said the government has failed to check the dumping of urban and industrial waste in the river.  The activist is also opposed to the “total failure” of regulatory agencies in controlling discharge of urban and industrial wastes into the Ganga and “complete lack of sensitivity” of the government on these issues.

Dr GD Agrawal is the doyen of environmental engineers in India. He is notable for his successful fastin 2009 to stop the damming of the Bhagirathi River. He worked as a scientist at IIT Kanpur. Agarwal has served as secretary of the Central Pollution Control Board, the country’s premier anti-pollution body, and helped put together environmental legislation in India. This is his third fast-unto-death in the last four years.



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