Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Press Release, 7 July 2009

07 July, 2009
Press Release
  1. The state government of Uttarakhand promised immediate suspension of all works on the two projects Bhairoghati and Pala-Maneri in its letter of 19thJune, 2008 and expressed its full commitment for conservation of River Bhagirathi in its natural form ‘from Gangotri to Uttarakashi’. However construction work on the projects (particularly on Pala Maneri project) leading to destroy Gangaji is going on in full swing. The above makes all assurances to us and to Maa Gangaji look as mere jokes.

  1. The Government of India committed immediate stoppage of all work on its project Loharinag-Pala in its letter on 19th February, 2009. But the construction work on the site has gone on un-stopped and on an accelerated speed. This again is an act of cruel deceipt.

  1. The Prime Minister ‘s office emphasized in its press release on 4th November,2008, that Ganga ji has a special place in the hearts and minds of all Indians and that the emotional link needs to be recognized and took initiative to notify Gangaji as the National River of India. Earlier to this, the prime minister expressed in presence of Param Pujniya Jagadguru Shankaracharya Swaroopa Nand ji that he regards Ganga ji as his mother and later stated toParam Pujniya Swami Tejomayanand ji that Ganga ji is the soul of India and assured his full commitment to conserve Ganga ji. But government system is showed the same disregard and totally ignored the holy emotions of the Prime minister as it had earlier done with emotions, plans and orders of Late Prime Minister Rajeev Gandhi. It is interesting to note that no official ever gets punished for this type of serious offense in the government system. How the super powerful the bureaeratic structure is!

  1. The order of Nani Tal High Court on 18th May,2009 gave clear directions to the Secretary in Ministry of Forest and Environment, Government of India in his capacity of Ex-Officio Member Secretary of National River Ganga Authority to either take a clear decision on the construction work of Lohari Nag Pala Project going on or to constitute an Expert Committee to advise on this matter within four weeks ( till 15th June ,2009) . But government machinery operates only under pressure of group interests, which this dose can not entail. What can the High Court or Gnagaji do? Why should they worry?

  1. I have been trying for the last four weeks to be able to communicate my message and the situation over Gangaji to the Prime Minister. I did receive on several times sympathy and assurances but finally with no success even in these efforts to communicate. Finding this environment full of false hoods, deceipts and controlled by petty materialistic vested interests, having no place for emotional cultural bonds and thus foreing one to mutely, watch the destruction of our national cultural identity that Gangaji is, to be totally unbearable, I have decided to resume my "Indefinite Fast Unto-Death" from Aug 5, 2009.
    (Dr. G. D. Agrawal)
    For Further information please contact-
    Dr. Anil gautam-9412176896,
    Pavitra Singh- 9410706109

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Dr. G. D. Agrawal Scientist and Rishi

Dr. G. D. Agrawal Scientist and Rishi

Meeting Dr. G. D. Agrawal in his spartan, two room cottage in Chitrakoot, Madhya Pradesh, you would never guess what an accomplished and distinguished scientist he is – first Member-Secretary of the Government of India’s Central Pollution Control Board, former Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at IIT Kanpur and a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. The list goes on and on.

Yet this eminent professional sweeps his own floors, washes his own clothes and cooks his own meals. He retains only a few possessions and dresses in homespun khadi. At the age of 76, his main mode of transport within Chitrakoot is a bicycle and when he travels further afield, he goes by ordinary bus and second-class train. These are the deliberate choices of a devout Hindu whose deepest values are for simplicity and reverence for nature. Dr G.D. Agrawal is the doyen of environmental engineering professionals in India. Well past retirement, he continues to teach and inspire students as an Honorary Professor of Environmental Sciences at the Mahatma Gandhi Chitrakoot Gramodaya Vishwavidyalaya, in Chitrakoot (M.P.).

Dr Agrawal is a much sought-after EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) consultant and a Director of Envirotech Instruments (P) Limited, New Delhi – a company that he established with some of his former students from IIT-Kanpur. He is an engineer’s engineer, the person senior professionals turn to for solutions to difficult technical problems. At CPCB he was instrumental in shaping India’s pollution control regulatory structure. He has been a member of various official committees for policy-making and administrative mechanisms to improve India’s environmental quality.

Dr Agrawal is a legendary and inspiring teacher whose students remember him with awe, admiration and affection. In 2002, his former students at IIT-Kanpur conferred on him the Best Teacher Award. He has guided scores of Masters and Doctoral students who are now leaders in the field of environmental engineering and science. Among his more prominent students was the late Anil Agrawal, the trail-blazing founder of the Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi.

Dr Agrawal has been deeply committed to supporting rural development initiatives grounded in scientific methodology. Among others, he has helped mentor well-known development activists like Dunu Roy (IIT-Bombay,’67) of The Hazards Centre, New Delhi, Dr Ravi Chopra (IIT-Bombay,’68) of People’s Science Institute, Dehra Doon and Rajendra Singh, a Magsaysay awardee and founder of Tarun Bharat Sangh.

Born in a farming family in Kandhla (Muzaffarnagar district, U.P.) in 1932, he did his schooling locally and graduated in Civil Engineering from the University of Roorkee (now IIT-Roorkee).

He started his career as a Design Engineer in the Irrigation Department, Uttar Pradesh and later obtained a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. He has dozens of scientific publications to his credit. Dr Agrawal is both deeply religious and rigorously scientific.

His passionate devotion to the River Ganga comes from his strong Hindu faith; his conviction that we are staring at an unprecedented ecological and cultural catastrophe comes from his powerfully logical mind. As a citizen and a patriot, he has made it his life’s mission to recall India to its glorious traditional reverence for nature and to share that wisdom with the “developed” world. His sense of his duty allows him to do no less.