Sri Sri event: NGT fines AoL Rs 5 cr but it may have to shell out more
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has fined the Art of Living foundation R5 crore for holding its three-day World Culture Festival on the Yamuna floodplain. It may have to shell out more penalty.india Updated: Mar 10, 2016 10:16 IST
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has fined the Art of Living foundation R5 crore for holding its three-day World Culture Festival on the Yamuna floodplain. It may have to shell out more penalty.
Construction work going on at the Art of Living’s world culture festival venue on Wednesday. The National Green Tribunal did not cancel the event but fined the organisers for possible damage to the fragile floodplain of the Yamuna.
The Rs 5 crore environmental compensation imposed on the foundation is only the initial penalty as the rest of the fine amount will be decided after an NGT-appointed committee assesses the damage to the floodplain.
“You may have to pay for the restoration of environment,” the National Green Tribunal said. The organisation will have to pay for damage to the water bodies.
An NGT-appointed panel last month had stated it was too late to scrap the event and suggested a fine of R120 crore.
“This amount (R5 crore) would be paid by the Foundation prior to the commencement of the event. This amount would be adjusted towards the final compensation determined to be paid by the Foundation for restoration work,” an NGT bench said. It also directed the principal committee constituted under the judgment to submit a report within four weeks on the steps needed for restoration, restitution and rejuvenation of the floodplain.
“It will also state the approximate cost for such restoration and restitution. We further direct that the entire area in question shall be developed as a biodiversity park, the cost of which will have to be paid by the (Art Of Living) Foundation and the DDA in the proportion as be directed by the tribunal finally,” the order said.
The foundation will have to file an undertaking on Thursday that it would, within two weeks from the date of demand by the DDA, pay the balance fine amount.
“A committee will immediately inspect the site and issue directions by tomorrow in relation to the source of water, collection and disposal of solid waste and sewerage generated during the event and also issue directions to ensure that there is no further environmental degradation,” activist Manoj Misra, the petitioner in the case, said.