Dr.GD Agarwal, former professor at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur and a man who devoted his life to the cause of saving river Ganga, died today. Agarwal was on a fast-unto-death for the last 111 days. Agarwal sat on his fast to protest against the government’s alleged inaction in taking measures to make the Ganga free of pollution and free-flowing. Prof. Agarwal died at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Rishikesh where he was admitted by the state police last night.Agarwal died due to a heart attack, the media coordinator of AIIMS Rishikesh said.
Meanwhile, Agarwal, who took on the name Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand in his later life, sat on a similar fast in 2012. Then, his fast lasted nearly two-and-a-half months at the end of which the then Manmohan Singh-led government at the Centre was forced to give in to Agarwal’s demand that a meeting of the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) be held.Dr.Agarwal a as retired professor of environmental engineering from IIT Kanpur. He then served as a member-secretary of the Central Pollution Control Board. In 2012, he formally renounced the world and adopted the name Swami Gyanswaroop Sanand.