National Green Tribunal has pulled up Delhi Development Authority(DDA) for granting permission to hold Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s World Culture Festival on Yamuna banks.
The NGT said, “Did not know about the size and scale of the event when permission was granted, no purpose of stopping the function now. Was it not incumbent on DDA to see what was happening on the site and the magnitude of the program?”
Last month Professor A K Gosain of IIT-Delhi had submitted a report warning the danger to vegetation as a result of the event by Art of Living.
He was quoted by the Indian Express, that the area had been cleared of all natural vegetation and the event, if conducted, would leave a “permanent footprint” on the floodplains of the Yamuna.
“The site has been cleared of all natural vegetation and consolidated with machinery. It appears that the site has been raised with the help of JCBs (mechanical excavators)… A gigantic stage made of steel rods is under preparation… a huge amount of debris and construction waste has been dumped into the Yamuna main channel,” stated Gosain’s report.
Delhi government’s tourism minister, Kapil Mishra, had defended the decision to organise the event by Sri Sri.
According to reports, Mishra along with LK Advani and the Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma were among the reception committee members.