Ramesh shifts blame over Swami's death

Swami Nigamanand breathed his last after fasting for more than two months at Haridwar to save the Ganga


Neha Sethi | June 14, 2011

A day after Swami Nigamanand breathed his last after fasting for more than two months at Haridwar to save the Ganga, environment minister Jairam Ramesh shrugged off the centre’s responsibility in the matter.

At a conference in the capital on Tuesday, Ramesh told the media that he had written a letter to the Uttarakhand chief minister Nishank Pokhriyal asking him to take steps to end illegal sand mining in the stretches of river Ganga at Haridwar – the cause taken up by Swami Nigamanand. "Unfortunately, no action was coming from the state government over the last 15 months or 16 months,” Ramesh said.

The minister said that he had met Pokhriyal on a number of occasions and spoken to him on the issue too. He added that the environment ministry will now take action. "In view of the fact that the state government has demonstrated a continued reluctance to take action against illegal mining, I think, we will have no option but to invoke Section 5 of the Environment Protection Act and take action on our own," Ramesh added.

Nigamanand had been on a fast to protest against the illegal sand mining on the banks of river Ganga in Haridwar. While some reports say that he had been fasting for 73 days, there are others which say that he had been on a fast for 115 days.



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