Art of living fest: NGT questions Centre over issuing clearances

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) yesterday questioned the Centre as to why no environmental clearance is required for erecting structures in Yamuna floodplains for Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living three-day ‘World Culture Festival’

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) yesterday questioned the Centre as to why no environmental clearance is required for erecting structures in Yamuna floodplains for Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living three-day ‘World Culture Festival’.

Structures being built on Yamuna floodplains for the World Culture Festival, three-day festival organised by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living. File pic/AFP
Structures being built on Yamuna floodplains for the World Culture Festival, three-day festival organised by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living. File pic/AFP

“You (MoEF) file an affidavit by tomorrow and tell us why no environmental clearance is needed for raising temporary structures in flood plains,” a bench headed by NGT chairperson Swantanter Kumar said.

The directive came after a counsel appearing for MoEF said that they have found no debris at the site, when an expert team had visited and as per Environment Impact Assessment notification 2006, no environment clearance is needed for temporary structures.

The Panel also questioned the building of pontoon bridges by the Army on river Yamuna for the festival, and asked the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) counsel as who gave the permission for setting it up.

‘We will build biodiversity park’
Under fire for organising a massive event on the Yamuna floodplain, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar yesterday said his organisation will build a ‘biodiversity park’ in that area and dismi-ssed allegations of ecological harm. He said that not a single tree was cut in the run up to the World Cultural Festival to be held between March 11-13 and that four trees have only been trimmed in the riverine area.

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