Delhi government’s tourism minister Kapil Mishra had written to Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar, requesting for army’s help to build additional pontoon bridge for the World Culture Festival, organised by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
Letter (Read below) accessed by jantakareporter.com reveals that Mishra requested Parrikar for army to build ‘at least one more’ bridge for the event.
He wrote, “We have learnt that the Army is making 1 pontoon bridge for the festival. This is not adequate for safe movement of the large gathering of people hence we request the Army for building at least 1 more pontoon bridge over River Yamuna during The World Culture Festival. The construction of more than would obviously be extremely useful and much appreciated.”
The revelation came after the National Green Tribunal gave green signal to Sri Sri’s Art of Living Foundation to organise the three-day event on Yamuna banks.
The NGT imposed a fine of Rs 5 crores on AOL as environmental compensation after verbally chiding the foundation for not disclosing its full plans and also on the DDA and Environment Ministry for their role.
The AOL has already said it will appeal the decision. The government of India’s culture ministry has already provided the foundation a grant of Rs 2.25 crore.
The green tribunal found several environmental violations committed by the organisers. It blamed the delay on the part of environmental activists in raising the issue before it, therefore justifying its decision to grant permission for the event.
The event evoked sharp criticism from opposition parties.
CPIM’s Sitaram Yechury said, “How can the Indian Army be summoned to make arrangements for a private function? How are they violating the existing laws in this issue? How are they misusing the Army? The government owes an explanation for this.”
(Inputs from PTI)