A month after environmentalist and Ganga activist Professor GD Agrawal’s death, a reply to an RTI query has revealed that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had received Agrawal’s letters demanding specific steps for the conservation of the holy river but did not take any action.
Agrawal, who was on a fast-unto-death over demands regarding the passage of Ganga Protection Act, scrapping of all proposed and under-construction hydropower projects on the Ganga, a total ban on sand mining in the river-bed of the Ganga in Haridwar and formation of a council to look into issues related to the river, died at AIIMS Rishikesh on October 11. It was the 112th day of his fast.
Agrawal had written letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 24, and again on June 13 and June 23, requesting steps to be taken towards a clean and free-flowing Ganga. However, according to seers of the Haridwar-based Matri Sadan ashram, where Agrawal, or Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand, had observed the fast, no replies were received from the prime minister.
In response to the RTI query filed on October 14 by Bihar activist Ujjawal Krishnam, from the NGO Citizens for Justice and Peace, the PMO wrote that the letters dated June 13 and June 23 were “forwarded for action as appropriate to the Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation” on August 20.
The online portal of the Centralised Public Grievance Redress And Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) accessed by The Indian Express reveals that on August 28 the “suggestions” given by Agrawal were “forwarded” to the concerned officials in Dehradun. However, no action has yet been taken on any of Agrawal’s four demands.