NEW DELHI: Anand Arya, the complainant who has raised objections to the three-day World Cultural Fest being organised by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living foundation, has said that the event would cause irreparable damage to the delicate ecosystem of Yamuna floodplains.
“Our only complaint is that, it (event) will cause serious damage to eco-system and bio-diversity in the area. There should not be any temporary or permanent structure in that area,” Arya told ANI here.
“Although recreation activity is permitted, but all these have to done according to the biodiversity and the ecosystem. The ground water recharge that supports water for 40 percent of Delhi will be affected due to this event,” he added.
Expressing hope of a favourable decision, Arya said the area, which is 11percent of the floodplain of the state, cannot be ruined.
Sri Sri's Art of Living foundation says the event will feature yoga and meditation sessions, peace prayers and traditional cultural performances from around the world.
The foundation has denied there will be any permanent impact and says it has secured permission from all the necessary authorities to hold the event.
“We have used only eco-friendly material like wood, mud, cloth, and scaffolding towards building a temporary stage,” the foundation said in a statement.
The Army has spent more than a week building two bridges which will float on the River Yamuna for the event.
The three-day World Culture Festival, which is expected to draw 3.5 million people to the banks of the River Yamuna, is meant to start on Friday and will be opened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
President Pranab Mukherjee, who had earlier agreed to attend the opening, along with the Prime Minister, conveyed that he will not be present.
Meanwhile, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has resumed a crucial hearing on pleas seeking cancellation of Sri Sri ravi Shankar’s Art of Living three day festival on the Yamuna Floodplains.
The Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Uttar Pradesh and Delhi Government will make their submissions with regard to grant of permission to the festival.