The Art of Living Foundation today said it will challenge the order of the National Green Tribunal imposing a fine of Rs five crore on it as environmental compensation while clearing the decks for its three-day cultural extravaganza.
The organisation’s chief Sri Sri Ravi Shankar also tweeted that AoL was not “satisfied” with the verdict of the NGT and would appeal against it. He urged political parties not to “politicise” the event.
“We appreciate all those who came in support of World Culture Festival. The festival will go as per planned and, since we have not violated any rules, we will appeal against the NGT order,” an AOL spokesperson said.
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Notwithstanding the raging row over environmental damage due to the 3-day festival, National Green Tribunal gave its go-ahead to the event to be held on the Yamuna floodplains from March 11, expressing its helplessness in banning it because of “fait accompli”.
Nevertheless, it imposed a fine of Rs five crore on AOL as environmental compensation after coming down heavily on the foundation for not disclosing its full plans. The green bench also criticised the DDA and Environment Ministry for their role.
“I appeal to all parties to not politicize the #WCF2016. It is to unite all cultures, nations, religions & ideologies. Let’s come together! 172 international dignitaries comprising current & former Heads of State, Ministers & Members of Parliament are attending #WCF2016.
“Around 20,000 guests from 155 countries are arriving. Let India welcome them to #WCF2016 with one voice & our traditional hospitality,” Ravi Shankar said in a series of tweets.
He further tweeted that he sought some land on the banks of the Yamuna from the people of Delhi but a few people said that “it’s a crime and you will be fined”.
“We are not satisfied with the verdict. We will appeal against it. Satyameva Jayate!” the spiritual guru tweeted.