New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Friday attend the World Culture Festival being organised by the spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's Art of Living foundation, which is mired in a controversy over its attempt to hold the event on the fragile banks of Yamina river.
According to reports, PM Modi yesterday confirmed his participation at the mega global event here in which tens of thousands of people are expected to attend.
The three-day festival will kick off from today and people from more than 100 countries are expected to attend the event.
Modi's decision to attend the festival, confirmed by the government, has been criticised by some sections of the society as the mega event could potentially destroy the sensitive floodplains of the river, a reported in India Today said.
Meanwhile, the National Green Tribunal yesterday ordered the organisers to pay Rs 5 crore as fine to the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) for violating environmental norms.
The fine was imposed after it came to light that the organisers did not give sufficient details of the event being held on the Yamuna banks.
The Art of Living has been accused of destroying the fragile ecosystem of the river by felling trees and making a concrete structure for the event.
A massive stage, covering seven acres of land, has been built on the riverbed for the event.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the spiritual guru who heads the Art of Living, said the structures are temporary and would be dismantled after the event.
The spiritual guru also refused to pay fine and instead expressed his willingness to go to jail, claiming that he has done nothing wrong.