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Rediff.com  » News » Magsaysay award-winner, others quit body chaired by PM

Magsaysay award-winner, others quit body chaired by PM

March 10, 2012 21:02 IST

Magsaysay award-winner ' Rajendra Singh and two others on Saturday quit the National Ganga River Basin Authority, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, protesting the government's "negligence" of the river.

Besides Singh, two other NGRBA members -- Ravi Chopra and R H Siddiqi -- also submitted their resignation letters to Dr Singh, expressing solidarity with noted environmentalist G D Agrawal, who is on a fast-unto-death to press for the cleansing of Ganga.

Rajendra Singh said that the resignations were sent after their meeting with Water Resources Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal during the day, when they apprised him about the agitation of Agrawal, who is known as Swami Gyanswaroop Anand.

Agrawal had on Friday announced that he will not take water in the last phase of his fast-unto-death to press for uninterrupted clean flow of the Ganga.

While Chopra is the director of the Dehradun-based People's Science Institute, Siddiqi is a former professor of Aligarh Muslim University.

"Swami Gyanswaroop Anand's demand is to respect Ganga and ensure clean and continuous flow of the river. He has been on an agitation for the last 47 days in Varanasi, on the bank of the Ganga. But the government seems to be neglecting his demand. He entered the second phase of his agitation on Friday, declaring he will not take water. His life is in danger," Rajendra Singh said.

He alleged that though the NGRBA was constituted three and half years ago, it had met only twice since its formation.

The last meeting of the body was held one and half years ago, he said.

"My decision to quit the panel was conveyed to the prime minister in November last year," he said.

Singh said the Ganga was "dying" and instead of ensuring its free flow, the government was granting clearance for the construction of more dams in its upstream.

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