Social activist Anna Hazare on Thursday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, requesting him to immediately convene a meeting of the Ganga River Basin Authority in the wake of the deteriorating health of the fasting environmentalist G.D. Agarwal, who is on a “Save Ganga” mission.
Till such time the meeting is convened, Mr. Hazare urged Dr. Singh to halt the construction of tunnels and projects on Bhagirathi, Mandakani and Alaknanda rivers in the Ganga basin in Uttarakhand.
Noting that the Ganga has a special place in the hearts of people, he said its present condition is pathetic. “On the one hand, pollution in the Ganges is affecting the freshness of the river revered by millions of people; on the other, the construction of dams has restricted the flows of its source rivers. It is to study these problems that the Ganga River Basin Authority was formed,” he said in his two-page letter, “but [it] has not met in the last one-and-a-half years and the government has taken decisions unilaterally.”
Referring to the protest resignation of four members of the Authority, he said, “If the Ganga is not saved then the country's most irrigated part would be destroyed and millions of people will feel hurt.”
“To get themselves heard, scientist and environmentalist G.D. Agarwal went on a fast-unto-death, but sadly the government is still not listening to him,” Mr. Hazare said.
Urging the Prime Minister to accept the agenda proposed by Mr. Agarwal for the meeting, Mr. Hazare said it was not right for a democratic government to ignore the feelings of millions of people.
Mr. Agarwal has been admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and put on drips.