New Delhi: Noted environmentalist and activist Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand (formerly known as GD Agarwal), who was on an indefinite fast since June 22 to urge the government to clean river Ganga, died of heart attack on Thursday.
The 87-year-old activist passed away in AIIMS Rishikesh around 1 pm.
The former IIT Kanpur faculty member GD Agarwal was fasting since June 22 and also gave up drinking water on Wednesday.
Before his death, he wrote a letter alleging that the Haridwar administration officials forcibly shifted him from his protest site to AIIMS.
Agarwal was urging the government to take steps to stop construction of hydroelectric projects along the river’s tributaries and enact the Ganga Protection Management Act.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences over the death of the stout activist.
Saddened by the demise of Shri GD Agarwal Ji. His passion towards learning, education, saving the environment, particularly Ganga cleaning will always be remembered. My condolences.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 11, 2018
Earlier, the Congress slammed the Centre over Agarwal's death alleging that it did not take enough measures under the 'Namami Gange Programme' and also ignored Agarwal's indefinite-fast.
"Is it not true that Ganga is more polluted in Varanasi today than it was in 2014? Is it not true that Ganga has become 334 times more polluted in BJP ruled states of Bihar and UP today as compared to 2014? Is it not true that in Namami Gange in which 22,000 crore rupees were to be sanctioned, not even one-fourth has been spent. Is Namai Gange also a jumla for Modi government? They should wake up from the sacrifice of GD Agarwal to pay attention to at least one promise that they made to Mother Ganga," Surjewala said.
(With inputs from agencies)