New Delhi: Facing allegations of causing damage to the environment for 'World Culture Festival' event on Yamuna flood plains, being organised by the Art of Living foundation, spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Friday said, it is the joke of the year when people say that his organisation is polluting the Yamuna river.
Putting his weight behind the programme that is expected to be attended by 35 lakh people from 155 countries, Sri Sri said, "The Art of Living should be lauded and rewarded for even choosing such a polluted place for a prestigious international event.”
While stressing that they will not cause any harm to the river, the spiritual guru said, “It takes enormous courage and commitment to ready a place where once, one could not even breathe due to the stink.”
Expressing his views on his Twitter account, he thanked the Delhiites. He tweeted: “Thanks to the efforts of over 100,000 Delhi households who for 3 months prepared enzymes to clean nallahs, methane emission has reduced.”
The spiritual guru appeared to suggest that the volunteers of the programme had done a commendable job in cleaning the Yamuna. He tweeted: “Villagers have said that buffaloes who never ventured near the water are now entering the water. Even the buffaloes recognize!”
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday pulled up the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) for granting permission to hold Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's 'World Culture Festival' on the banks of Yamuna.
The three-day event will be held on the floodplains of the Yamuna river near DND toll bridge and massive construction is underway for the festival starting March 11.
The event, being held on the 35th anniversary of the Art of Living foundation.
Several NGOs and environmental activists have moved the National Green Tribunal (NGT) against the festival saying it will cause irreparable damage to the Yamuna ecosystem.
While NGT is continuing hearing on the matter, it has proposed a fine of Rs 120 crores on the organisers of the event.