GD Agarwal, Who Won Many Battles To Save River Ganga, Lost His Last One

He sat on his last fast on June 22 to protest against the government’s alleged inaction in taking steps to make the river pollution-free. It was reminiscent of many such fasts he had undertaken in the past, including the one in 2012, which had forced Manmohan Singh-led United Progressive Alliance government to convene a meeting National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) to look into his various demands. He started his career as a design engineer in the Uttar Pradesh state Irrigation Department and went on obtain a doctorate in environmental engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. Whenever he found governments lacking in honouring their commitments on making the Ganga free of pollution or took steps to disrupt the river’s free flow, GD Agarwal went on a fast. He had sat on a fast-unto-death against the proposed hydropower projects on river Bhagirathi, one of the two headstreams of the Ganga, in 2008.

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