UP irrigation dept warns organiser against polluting Yamuna banks

  • Vinod Rajput, Noida
  • Updated: Mar 04, 2016 08:36 IST
Massive construction is underway on the Yamuna bank along the DND for a World Cultural Festival by Art of Living scheduled for early March in New Delhi, India, on Thursday, March 3, 2016. (Raj K Raj / Hindustan Times)

The Uttar Pradesh Irrigation department on Thursday said that it will cancel permission to the 3-day long Global cultural festival event of Art of Living foundation if it is found polluting Yamuna flood plains.

“We have given conditional permission to AOL foundation saying if they will be found violating national green tribunal directive then permission will be considered cancelled. We will keep conducting inspections on site. And if we will found that visitors or organizers are throwing waste or polluting flood plain in any manner then we will cancel permission and take legal action,” said Ravi Prakash assistant engineer of the UP Irrigation department.

The Art of Living is all set to organize a world cultural festival right in the Yamuna flood plains in Delhi from March 11 to 13. The event is expected to host 35 lakh people belonging 155 countries.

UP Irrigation has allowed a parking by AOL foundation on 15 hectares of Yamuna floodplains that falls into their jurisdiction. The foundation got permission to host this event on 1000 acres flood plains that falls into the jurisdiction of Delhi development authority (DDA).

“We have specifically mentioned in permission letter that they (organiser) will not build roads, do earth-filling, remove soil, cut trees, damage vegetation, flora-fauna and damage flood plain through their activities. We have categorically asked them not to build temporary or permanent structure around 15 hectare parking spot allowed next to Mayur Vihar-I told plaza of DND Flyway,” said Prakash, who said permission to AOL was given in December, 2015.

Green brigade is objecting to this global cultural festival of AOL on the ground that it will end-up polluting Yamuna and eco-system.

“We have directed AOL foundation to put portable toilets at parking site to ensure visitors do not answer natures’ call on flood plain,” said Prakash.

“Where the waste generated by 35 lakh visitors will go? 35 lakh people will damage fragile eco-system. This event will set a wrong precedent for others,” said Manoj Misra of Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan that has filed a petition in NGT opposing to the event.

AOL foundation spokesperson said, “This event will help in the campaign of rejuvenation of this Yamuna River that is dying due to polluted water that it carries. We will not throw any sort of waste on to flood plains. Our event will draw attention towards Yamuna protection.”

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