Art of Living fest damaged Yamuna floodplain, says panel
The National Green Tribunal-appointed expert committee has said the mega-cultural event held on the banks of Yamuna by the Art of Living Foundation caused extensive damage to the fragile floodplain.delhi Updated: Aug 10, 2016 23:10 IST
The National Green Tribunal-appointed expert committee has said the mega-cultural event held on the banks of Yamuna by the Art of Living Foundation caused extensive damage to the fragile floodplain.
The committee, set up in March to assess the damage caused to the floodplain because of the activity during and before the event, submitted its report to the tribunal on Wednesday.
The committee, which had said after a pre-event visit that the foundation should pay `120 crore as compensation for the damage it caused to the floodplain, did not fix monetary compensation in its final report.
“The tribunal asked the ministry of water resources to form a separate committee and fix a compensation amount. This committee has to submit its report in three weeks,” said Ritwick Dutta, lawyer for the petitioner.
The Art of Living Foundation, however, filed an application to reconstitute the expert committee on the grounds that the committee was biased.
“Our application has been filed on the basis of strong irrefutable evidence. The committee has admitted that they had in the first instance inadvertently recommended the compensation amount without any scientific assessment. One committee member published his baseless conclusions in a media interview. We have found that another member of the expert committee has an extremely close proximity with the petitioner,” a statement issued by the foundation said.
The tribunal has not heard the plea. “It is not logical to take the report of the committee into consideration before our application is heard,” the statement added.
Earlier, the foundation submitted a report compiled by another set of experts which said no harm was caused to the floodplain because of the event.