Three-Day Ganga meet begins in Delhi; Agrawal’s fast continues for 87th-day

A three-day interaction on issues pertaining to the pollution and augmentation of flow in the Ganga, began here on Sunday even as indefinite hunger strike by veteran activist G D Agrawal for the cause of the river continued in Kankhal-Haridwar for the 87th day.

The meet, called against the backdrop of the 87-year old IIT professor-turned-saint’s resolve of shunning water intake from October 10, is being attended by activists from 11 states, including Magsaysay awardee MC Mehta, Gandhian thinker PV Rajagopal, Swami Shivanand Saraswati (Haridwar), former chairman of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) Pratyush Tyagi, IIT Delhi professor Atul Bal and former professor SK Gupta, Stockholm Water Awardee Dr Rajendra Singh said.

High-ranked authorities from concerned ministries and various government bodies are also expected to join in the discussion that is to be focused on the ways and means to save life of Prof Agrawal who already lost 19 Kg weight and decided to harden his stance from the next month, Dr Singh told UNI here.

Since the fasting saint has already rejected the draft of the Ganga Protection and Management Bill prepared by the Government panel last year, the discussion will be focused on areas of disagreement between the Government’s proposed Bill and the one drafted by the another panel of experts from IITs a few years back, he said.

The earliest enactment of the Ganga Bill is the prime demand of Prof Agrawal, Mr Singh added.

River Protection and Ganga Rejuvenation Minister Nitin Gadkari is also scheduled to address the meet on Tuesday.


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