Haridwar: Demanding a review of hydropower projects being developed on river Ganga and calling to save Dhari Devi temple, former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharti began her fast here on Tuesday.

The former BJP leader,who has been advocating review of the Tihri Dam, would seek support of religious ‘akhadas’ to carry forward her ‘Samgra Ganga’ campaign.

Uma began her fast in Divya Prem Sewa Mission in Haridwar and will continue her fast till Ganga Dussehra next month.

Talking to media persons, Bharti said, “The Dhari Devi temple has been a centre of faith for the people living in the Himalayas. It should not be shifted in the name of development.”

Taking a swipe at the Centre and state governments for this she said, “The ambit of Ganga Basin Authority is extensive. A seperate board for the review of power projects being developed on Ganga should be set up.”

“Scientists, environmentalists and local community should be involved in the Board. Work on the projects should be stopped till a decision is taken by the Board,” she added.

The people of Uttarakhand are being cheated in the name of creating employment, she alleged, adding “they are not going to get benefitted from these development projects”.

Uma, who took fruits in her food for the first two days and  continued her fast later on , warned she would continue her fast till Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh and Uttarakhand Chief Minister replies to her questions.

Meanwhile, Uma Bharti who has always been known as a ‘fire brand’ politician, has towed a mid path to make her ‘Samgra Ganga’ campaign a success. Contrary to her belligerent image, Uma’s attitude on Ganga issue appears to be tactful as she is desisting from putting  forward tough demands. The former BJP leader also hinted at penning a book on Ramjanmbhoomi dispute. 

Uma’s Questions

-    What is the final solution to Srinagar dam?
-    What are the benefits of the power projects developed in the Himalayan region?
-    Is there no other source of development in the region?
-    How are the local residents being benefitted from the projects?
-    Is there no arrangement for alternative employment?