DEHRADUN/HARIDWAR/ RISHIKESH/VARANASI, June 21
The IITians for Holy Ganga, a forum constituted to preserve heritage and ecology of the river Ganga by Alumni of All IIT’s across the country has urged the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari to immediately issue orders to suspend work on all ongoing Hydro Electric Power (HEP) and Tunnelling projects in Uttarakhand and implement recommendations made by IIT consortium of River Ganga basin to allow river Ganga to flow in Natural form.
The Ministry of Environment and Forests had set up a Consortium of Seven Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) was been given the responsibility of preparing Ganga River Basin: Environment Management Plan (GRB EMP). These IIT’s included IIT Bombay, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras and Roorkee in year 2010. The report prepared and submitted by IITs to government describes the strategy, information, methodology, analysis and suggestions and recommendations in developing Ganga River Basin: Environment Management Plan (GRB EMP). The main thrust of the report was that Upper River Ganga segment from Gaumukh to Rishikesh be allowed to flow in its natural form sake.
“The central Government should make the IIT consortium report public, discuss it and implement it . It is painful to observe that even after competition of four years in Office, the Central Government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not shown dedicated efforts for the cause of conservation of holy river Ganga in Uttarakhand. Even the proposed Ganga Act was still to see the light of the day “said Yatinder Pal Singh Suri, President, IItians for Holy Ganga.
“Construction of Hydro Electric Projects and tunnels on River Ganga in Uttarakhand have resulted in significant alteration in hourly, daily and seasonal flows over substantial river length. A substantial part of the river flow is forced through tunnels and the river stretch has been converted into impoundments. Construction of highways and four lane project on Char Dham yatra route will further aggravate the situation. Now only small portion of the 294 km of river stretch from Gaumukh to Rishikesh flows in natural and pristine form” said Suri.
“We urge Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Water Resources Minister Shri Nitin Gadkari to intervene and accede to demands of 86 year Prof G.D. Aggarwal (Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand) an eminent environmental scientist and former professor of environmental sciences at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur who is planning to go for fast unto death from June 22 at Haridwar in protest against construction of dams on river Ganga . “said S.K. Gupta, Executive Secretary, IITians for Holy Ganga.
“The major three demands of Prof Aggarwal include stopping of work on Vishnugad Pipalkoti, Singoli Bhawari and Phata Byung Hydroelectric projects, Passing of the Draft Ganga protection act drafted by (retired) Shri Girdhar Malviya headed committee in Parliament and Creation of a National Ganga follower committee whose permission will be necessary before taking any decision about Ganga” said Gupta.
“The existing and proposed hydro power projects on various rivers of the region have also contributed to this massive and irreparable damage and are threatening to destroy it’s invaluable ecosystem including the various beneficial qualities of the GANGA JAL due to uninterrupted flow of river Ganga. The attention of the Government has been drawn to these threats by the civil society, scientists and engineers as well as religious leaders from time to time but of no avail “said Partosh Tyagi, Executive member of IItians for Holy Ganga.