Haridwar, Oct 11: Noted environmentalist, IITian-turned-seer Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand (Professor GD Agarwal) who was on an indefinite fast for nearly past four months to exert pressure on Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led union the government to clean river Ganga, breathed his last today at AIIMS-Rishikesh. He was 87.
He had begun his fast on June 22 in the Matri Sadan ashram in Haridwar, demanding a law that will protect River Ganga, maintain its uninterrupted flow in its natural form between Gangotri to Uttarkashi and keep the river clean.
His other demands included enactment of the Ganga Protection and Management Bill and halting of work on hydropower projects along the Alaknanda and Mandakini rivers. Swami Gyan Swaroop was once a professor at IIT Kanpur. The PhD holder in environmental engineering from the University of California at Berkeley has also served as a Member-Secretary of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
Agarwal had been engaged in indefinite hunger strikes since 2008, calling for the Central government to protect the river Ganga. This is the second death of a fasting seer demanding undisrupted flow of Ganga. In 2011, Swami Nigamanand (36) of Matri Sadan died after fasting for more than 2 months, seeking a ban on illegal mining in Ganga river.
On fast since June 22 to save Ganga, professor-turned-seer GD Agarwal dies