Art of Living’s Yamuna fest hearing in green tribunal today | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Art of Living’s Yamuna fest hearing in green tribunal today

The NGT will on Wednesday hear petitions that accuse the Art of Living foundation of violating the green court’s order and founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar of attributing political motive to a fine imposed for hosting a cultural festival on the Yamuna floodplain.

delhi Updated: May 25, 2016 12:46 IST
NGT
In this file photo, the dismantled the stage used during the World Culture Festival organised by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's Art of Living event can be seen.(Sonu Mehta/HT Photo)

The NGT will on Wednesday hear petitions that accuse the Art of Living foundation of violating the green court’s order and founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar of attributing political motive to a fine imposed for hosting a cultural festival on the Yamuna floodplain.

The World Culture Festival held in March triggered a huge controversy. The foundation was accused of causing extensive damage to the eco-sensitive floodplain and the river while building the stage for the three-day extravaganza.

Read: Art of Living? Seeking joy on the banks of a river we’ve killed

The national green tribunal asked the foundation to pay Rs 5 crore as environment compensation charge before giving the go-ahead to the festival. Several cases related to the event are being heard by the green court.

The NGT on May 10 asked Ravi Shankar to reply to a plea by environmentalists Manoj Misra and Anand Arya accusing him of describing as “politically motivated” the tribunal order asking the foundation to pay R5 crore.

Action should be taken against Ravi Shankar for “scandalising the tribunal”, the applicants said.

Read: Yamuna banks used during World Culture Fest clean now: Art of Living

The foundation, however, denied the charge “…the allegations about Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at the NGT was misconceived since the video of the speech was available with Art of Living and demonstrate that the allegation was completely false,” it said in a statement

The foundation is yet to pay the bulk of the fine after the NGT allowed it to deposit R25 lakh and clear the remaining amount later.

Another petition accuses the foundation members of pouring bio-enzymes in to Yamuna in violation of an NGT order.

Ravi Shankar and the foundation had two weeks to reply.

Seeking a ban on the festival, activists had accused the foundation of flattening the plain, destroying birds’ nesting sites and choking the polluted Yamuna with construction debris. The NGT is expected to get from a panel a report on the damage caused to the environment.

The NGT will on Wednesday hear petitions that accuse the Art of Living foundation of violating the green court’s order and founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar of attributing political motive to a fine imposed for hosting a cultural festival on the Yamuna floodplain.

The World Culture Festival held in March triggered a huge controversy. The foundation was accused of causing extensive damage to the eco-sensitive floodplain and the river while building the stage for the three-day extravaganza.

The national green tribunal asked the foundation to pay R5 crore as environment compensation charge before giving the go-ahead to the festival. Several cases related to the event are being heard by the green court.

The NGT on May 10 asked Ravi Shankar to reply to a plea by environmentalists Manoj Misra and Anand Arya accusing him of describing as “politically motivated” the tribunal order asking the foundation to pay R5 crore.

Action should be taken against Ravi Shankar for “scandalising the tribunal”, the applicants said.

The foundation, however, denied the charge “…the allegations about Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at the NGT was misconceived since the video of the speech was available with Art of Living and demonstrate that the allegation was completely false,” it said in a statement

The foundation is yet to pay the bulk of the fine after the NGT allowed it to deposit R25 lakh and clear the remaining amount later.

Another petition accuses the foundation members of pouring bio-enzymes in to Yamuna in violation of an NGT order.

Ravi Shankar and the foundation had two weeks to reply.

Seeking a ban on the festival, activists had accused the foundation of flattening the plain, destroying birds’ nesting sites and choking the polluted Yamuna with construction debris. The NGT is expected to get from a panel a report on the damage caused to the environment.

Read: Art of Living and politicians: When loyalty trumps propriety