Ex-IIT Professor G D Agrawal gives up water after fasting for 100 days

Former IIT Kanpur Professor and noted Environmental Activist Prof. G D Agrawal has stopped taking water today.  He is on fast unto death since last 102 days over his demand to Save the river Ganga and its ecology

Also known as Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand,  Dr.  Agrawal’s is on fast since mid-June for a free flowing Ganga. The venue of his fast is Matri Sadan Ashram in Haridwar in Uttarakhand.

Last week, he submitted a written demand for breaking his fast to  President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chief Justice of India P. Sathasivam, but is yet to receive any reply.

“I will continue my fast till my objectives are not met. I have not received any communication from the Central government so far,”  Dr. Agrawal said. 

Dr. Agrawal is pained by the improper functioning of National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) .  Reports suggest that NGRBA has not met since April 2012.

Yesterday, three members of the National Ganga River Basin Authority — Rajendra Singh, Ravi Chopra and Rashid Siddiqui resigned from the authority  in wake of continued government apathy about Prof. GD Agrawal’s fast.

NGRBA was constituted by Prime Minister of India in 2009 after the 32 day long  fast of Dr. Agrawal made into national headlines. It also forced the Government to declare Ganga a National River. It also led to the stoppage of work on the Loharinag Pala Hydro Power Project.

In June 2011,  his fellow Swami Nigamanand  lost his life after a 115-day hunger strike against illegal mining on the banks of Ganga.

G D agrawal was born in a farming family in Kandhla, Muzaffarnagar district, Uttar Pradesh in 1932, he graduated in Civil Engineering from the University of Roorkee (now IIT Roorkee).

He began his professional career as a design engineer in the Uttar Pradesh state Irrigation Department, and later obtained a PhD in Environmental Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. He has authored many scientific publications.

He was the first Member-Secretary of the Government of India’s Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) . He was formerly Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at IIT Kanpur. Dr Agrawal is a sought-after Environmental Impact Assessment consultant and is a Director of Envirotech Instruments (P) Limited, New Delhi, a company that he established with some of his former students from IIT-Kanpur.

In July 2011, Dr Agrawal renounced worldly comforts and adopted Sanyas. new name Swami Gyanswaroop Sanand.