NEW DELHI: JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav today voiced displeasure over NGT giving the go ahead to Art of Living Foundation's World Cultural Festival on the floodplains of Yamuna from Friday, saying the Rs five crore fine imposed on it as environmental compensation was "peanut".
"I am very much worried and pained that in spite of Opposition parties raising the issue of World Culture festival on the floodplains of Yamuna, the go ahead has been given by NGT with a fine of a mere Rs five crore.
"This amount is just a peanut for Art of Living (Foundation), which is not art of living but art of fooling the people of the country," Yadav said in a statement.
He said he was at a loss to understand from where these "babas bring this much money and then they ask that the black money be brought from banks abroad".
"I am told the government has also spent a lot of money for the festival's promotion. Besides, army and government agencies have been deployed at the venue of a private function which we have never seen in the past.
"It's an unnecessary event which will bring nothing for the 90 per cent of our population...Also, in the capital, the residents will be put to inconvenience and there will be issues of safety, security and environment," the statement said.
"The government has failed to understand the plight of poor farmers whose crops have been destroyed. I strongly oppose and criticise its decision to give permission to this kind of event," he said.
Notwithstanding raging controversies, the National Green Tribunal today cleared the decks for the three-day cultural extravaganza scheduled to be held from March 11-13, but imposed a fine of Rs five crore on it as environmental compensation.
After posing tough questions, the tribunal also slapped a fine of Rs five lakh on DDA and Rs one lakh on Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) for not discharging their statutory functions.
Earlier, a united Opposition in Rajya Sabha slammed the government for allowing army to be used for the event.