Three members of National Ganga River Basin Authority resign

Three expert members- Rajendra Singh, Ravi Chopra and Rashid Siddiqui resigned from the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) which was set up with the objective of protecting the Ganga from pollution and overuse.  The members were disquieted over the fact that the National Ganga River Basin Authority has not met since April 2012, especially in the wake of continued government indifference on101st day of professor GD Agrawal’s fast for Ganga.

Key points about the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA)

Established: February 20, 2009 under Section 3(3) of the Environment Protection Act, 1986, which also declared Ganges as the “National River” of India.

Authority: Financing, planning, implementing, monitoring and coordinating authority for the Ganges River, functioning under the Ministry of Environment of India.

Mission: Protect the drainage basin which feeds water into the Ganges by protecting it from pollution or overuse.

Ex-Officio Chairman: Prime Minister

Other members:  Union Ministers concerned and the Chief Ministers of states through which Ganga flows, viz., Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, among others.

Who is G.D. Agarwal?

G.D. Agarwal alias Swami Gyan Swaroopanand (80) is a noted environmentalist and former Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) professor. He has served as a secretary of the Central Pollution Control Board, the country’s premier anti-pollution body, and helped put together environmental legislation in India. He has been on a fast- unto-death for over 101 days now to save the Ganga River and is determined to continue his fast albeit he is physically worn out. He is notable for his successful fast in 2009 to stop the damming of the Bhagirathi River.

His major concern is the inadequate and ineffectual operation of the NGRBA. He is also against on-going construction of dams/barrages/tunnels on Ganga which would completely destroy the natural flow regimes and quality of the river water, inability of the regulatory agencies in checking discharge of urban and industrial wastes into the Ganga and complete lack of sensitivity of the government on these environmental issues.

Established: February 20, 2009 under Section 3(3) of the Environment Protection Act, 1986, which also declared Ganges as the “National River” of India.

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Categories: Environment Current Affairs 2017India Current Affairs 2017Persons in News 2017

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