Art of Living's Yamuna event caused 10 years of damage, claims NGT; Sri Sri defiant, says truth will triumph
However, Sri Sri has been defiant over it and has said that these are all inconsistencies and falsehoods of the NGT Comm
New Delhi: As per expert panel of the National Green Tribunal, cultural extravaganza organised by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's Art of Living (AOL), will cost Rs 13.29 crore and take almost 10 years,
However, Sri Sri has been defiant over it and has said that these are all inconsistencies and falsehoods of the NGT Committee.
The head of AOL has further said that truth will always triumph.
The expert committee, headed by Shashi Shekhar, Secretary of Ministry of Water Resources, has informed the green panel that major restoration work has to be carried out to compensate for the damage to Yamuna floodplains.
"It has been estimated that approximately 120 hectares (about 300 acres) of floodplains of west (right bank) of the river Yamuna and about 50 hectares (120 acres) floodplains of the eastern side (left bank) of the river have been adversely impacted ecologically at different magnitudes," it said.
The green body had last year allowed AOL to hold three- day 'World Culture Festival' of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's Art of Living on the Yamuna flood plains while expressing its helplessness in banning the event because of "fait accompli".
It, however, had imposed Rs 5 crore as interim environment compensation on the foundation for the event's impact on the environment.
Initially, a four-member committee had recommended that AOL Foundation should pay Rs 100-120 crore as restoration cost for "extensive and severe damage" to the floodplains of Yamuna river.
Later, a seven-member expert committee had told NGT that the event organised on Yamuna has "completely destroyed" the riverbed.
The committee, in its 47-page report, has said that due to the three-day event, the floodplain has lost "almost all its natural vegetation" like trees, shrubs, tall grasses, aquatic vegetation including water hyacinth which provides habitat to large number of animals, insects and mud-dwelling organisms.
It has said that it will cost INR 13.29 crore and take almost 10 years to rehabilitate the river floodplain.
(With PTI inputs)