Will build biodiversity park on floodplain: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Will build biodiversity park on floodplain: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

delhi Updated: Mar 08, 2016 22:11 IST
PTI
Art of Living

Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar told reporters not a single tree was cut in the run up to the World Cultural Festival to be held between March 11-13. (Ravi Choudhary/HT Photo)

Art of Living Foundation founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, under fire for organising a massive event on the Yamuna floodplain, said on Tuesday his organisation will build a “biodiversity park” in the area, rubbishing allegations of ecological harm.

Ravi Shankar told reporters 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.

Read: Prez pulls out of Art of Living’s Yamuna event: What we know so far

“Villagers said that their buffaloes never went near the water in the past. Now I have been informed by them that those buffaloes have entered the water. The villagers are very happy.

“We will leave the place after making a biodiversity park there. In the past, our volunteers have brought out 512 tonne of garbage from Yamuna. We have not cut any trees, have just trimmed four. We want a clean Yamuna and we care about the environment,” Ravi Shankar said.

Watch: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Not even one tree has been cut for the event

The event, slated to take place between March 11-13 on the west bank of Yamuna floodplain near DND flyover, has been organised to celebrate 35 years of The Art of Living. It is being supported by the Centre and the Delhi government among others, and is expected to attract around 35 lakh people.

It has come under the scanner of National Green Tribunal after a set of petitions were filed demanding its cancellation over concerns of potential permanent damage to the riverbed.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to inaugurate the event on Friday and President Pranab Mukherjee was to attend the valedictory function on Sunday.

However, Mukherjee on Monday pulled out of the event in the wake of controversy citing “unavoidable circumstances”.