Saturday, June 21, 2008

June 20 press release

June 20, 2008 DehraDoon/Uttarkashi

Dr. G.D. Agarwal thwarts Government emissary
Dr. G.D. Agrawal today told State Power Secretary Shatrughan Singh that even though the Government's recent decision to suspend work on two major power projects in the Bhagirathi valley was a welcome step in the right direction, he would not end his fast-unto-death until his demand of maintaining an unobstructed flow in the river Bhagirathi between Gangotri and Uttarkashi, was acceded to by the Government.
In the morning, the Power Secretary Shatrughan Singh called on Dr. Agrawal and handed him an official letter containing decisions taken by the State Cabinet in a meeting held on June 19, 2008. During the talks, the Power Secretary urged Dr. Agrawal to end his fast-unto-death. Dr. Agrawal responded that the Government's decision to suspend work on two power projects namely 480 MW Pala-Maneri and 381 MW Bhairon Ghati projects was welcome but his original demand has not been met. Dr. Agrawal also rejected all requests from the visiting Government emissary to end his fast-unto-death and said that more was required to be done to maintain an unobstructed flow of the River Bhagirathi in its 125 km stretch between Gangotri and Uttarkashi.
In a major development, Jagatguru Shakaracharya Swami Swarupananda Saraswati today arrived at Uttarkashi's Manikarnika Ghat and met Dr. Agrawal to extend his full support to the campaign. Yesterday, the Shankaracharya has also sent letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Ms. Sonia Gandhi in support of Dr. Agrawal's campaign to save the river Bhagirathi.
Meanwhile, Dr. Agrawal's fast-unto-death in support of his demand continued for the eighth day today. Already, doctors have reported Dr. Agrawal's failing health condition due to a prolonged denial of any food and nutrition to his body. Yesterday, they had also collected his urine samples for examination and recommended kidney and liver tests.
Various other organizations and individuals have also stepped up their support to Dr. Agrawal on the issue. Today, Swami Chidanand Muni of Parmarth Niketan (Rishikesh) and Swami Hansdas, secretary of Rashtriya Sant Samaj met Dr. Agrawal and conveyed their support on the issue to him.

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