Fresh plea but no stay on Art of Living event on Yamuna floodplains

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi 
  • Updated: Mar 11, 2016 00:21 IST
The 1,200 feet long, 200 feet wide and 40 feet high stage constructed for Art of Living’s World Culture Festival. (Ravi Choudhary/HT Photo)

The National Green Tribunal on Thursday refused to give an urgent hearing on a fresh plea seeking a stay on the three-day Art of Living event on the banks of the Yamuna from Friday.

The petitioner claimed the organisers had not taken permission from the competent authority as directed by the tribunal.

“There is no urgency in it. You can file a proper application and point out the deficiencies in compliance with the directions of the tribunal. We will see if there is any breach or not as per the law,” it said.

The green panel directed the Central Pollution Control Board, the ministry of environment and forests and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to instruct the organisers about the disposal of municipal solid waste and drinking water.

The counsel appearing for the DPCC informed the tribunal that as directed by it, a committee was already visiting the site and if necessary, directions would be issued.

The tribunal, which had earlier in the morning asked the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) counsel whether the foundation had deposited the fine or not, had fixed the matter for in-chamber hearing at 4pm.

But later the green panel agreed to hear the matter in the open court.

The NGT had on Wednesday expressed its helplessness in banning the event, saying it was “fait accompli”.

It had imposed an initial fine of Rs 5 crore on AOL as environmental compensation after coming down on it heavily for not disclosing its full plans and also on the DDA and environment ministry for their role.

The green tribunal, which found several environmental violations by the organisers, blamed the delay on the part of environmental activists in raising the issue before it which compelled it to grant permission for event.

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