The National Green Tribunal, hearing a plea seeking stay against spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s World Culture Festival, haven’t issued any prohibitory orders against the holding of the event but slapped Art of Living with an initial fine of Rs 5 crore to compensate the damage caused due to construction activity on the flood plains of Yamuna.
NGT, giving the go-ahead for the event, ordered AoL to give an undertaking by Thursday that enzymes won’t be released into Yamuna and no further degradation of environment will happen.
The tribunal also fined Delhi Development Authority Rs 5 lakh and Delhi Pollution Control Board Rs 1 lakh for failing to discharge their duty.
Earlier on Wednesday, there was an uproar in Rajya Sabha over Sri Sri’s event being organised on the banks of river Yamuna.
The Delhi Police, in a letter to the Ministry of Urban Development after an inspection of the venue, on March 1, redflagged the “shortcomings”, saying the stage, where the Prime Minister and several VVIPs are to be seated, lacks a structural stability certificate, a prerequisite for any such gathering.
5.30 pm: NGT asks AOL to develop entire area in question into a biodiversity park.
5.25 pm: NGT asks AOL to give undertaking by tomorrow that enzymes won’t be released into Yamuna and no further degradation of environment will happen.
5.20 pm: NGT asks AOL to deposit the environmental compensation before the start of the programme.
5.17 pm: Art of Living slapped an initial fine of Rs 5 crore by NGT.
5.14 pm:: No prohibitory orders on World Culture Event. Delhi pollution board fined Rs 1 lakh while DDA has been asked to pay rs 5 lakh.
4.04 pm: Order will be passed in ten minutes: Justice Swantanter Kumar.
4.00 pm: Delhi High Court comments on Art of living’s World Culture Festival during hearing on PIL over unauthorised construction in Jaitpur. Court asks DDA why rules are being allowed to be flouted. If trees and shrubs are removed then there can be floods during rains, said the court.
“It would be a disaster,” says HC.
3.45 pm: Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji and his followers are committed to environment; I’m sure no damage will be done: Uma Bharti.
3.30 pm: Our Ministry has no role in granting or not granting permission-Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti.
3.00 pm: Art of Living counsel tells NGT that total cost for creating venue of this event is 15.63 crore, in addition to 10 crore for decoration.
2.30 pm: MoEF files affidavit in NGT, says no environment clearance required for temporary structures on flood plains.
1:55 pm: Art of Living will submit its reply to the NGT at 3 pm.
1:41 pm: NGT asks Art Of Living to submit details regarding expenses on construction of stage & levelling of flood plains.
1:34 pm: Delhi: Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit joins in farmers’ protest over Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s.
1:31 pm: NGT to DPCC: Have you tested the enzyme being put into the river by Art Of Living?
1:17 pm: NGT again asks all respondents, if any Environmental Impact Assessment was carried out regarding consequential effects of this event.
1:14 pm: Art of Living counsel stated, there will be no activity which violates NGT order, will maintain sufficient distance from river.
1:13 pm: Delhi govt informs NGT that CPWD has asked AOL to build a separate stage for PM due to issues over structural safety.
1:12 pm: NGT asks Centre, Delhi govt, DDA if any environment impact assessment was carried out regarding preparation & consequential effects of AOL event.
1:11 pm: NGT asks Delhi Pollution Control Committee if it can allow putting enzymes in river Yamuna without examination.
1:05 pm: We have given the affidavit NGT asked for today. we have cleared our stand: Prakash Javadekar
1:05 pm: Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2PM.
12:49 pm: I appeal to all parties to not politicize the event. Its to unite all cultures, nations, religions & ideologies. Let’s come together: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
12:44 pm: Why was no affidavit filed? Don’t test our patience. Get clear instructions from Ministry if permission is needed to build the bridge: NGT
12:42 pm: A-Z authorities have taken the stand of we don’t know: NGT
12:40 pm: Bench pulls up MOEF for not submitting their affidavit on the question asked by NGT on Tuesday.
12:33 pm: Ministry of Water Resources informs NGT it has not granted permission for ‘World Cultural Festival’ scheduled from March 11 to 13.
12:28 pm: NGT to MoEF: Don’t test our patience.
12:26 pm: Ministry of Environment and Forests says permanent construction is the only thing that concerns them. They had earlier submitted an affidavit to the NGT saying any kind of construction on the floodplain is illegal.
12:18 pm: Security tightened around NGT hearing on petition seeking stay on World Culture Festival. Hearing begins
— ANI (@ANI_news) March 9, 2016
12:00 pm: Government sprung to the defence of the ‘Art of Living’ guru saying his intentions cannot be doubted as he was committed to protecting environment.
— ANI (@ANI_news) March 9, 2016
11:45 am: If a matter is pending with Tribunal, ordinarily chair doesn’t allow issue to be raised here-Arun Jaitley in RS
11:43 am: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is committed towards protecting environment. It would be wrong to doubt his commitment towards nature- MA Naqvi in RS
11:40 am: NGT is hearing the matter as we discuss the issue here.Event (Sri Ravi Shankar’s) is being held adhering to all rules & laws: MA Naqvi in RS
11:30 am: How can Indian Army assist in this, asks Sitaram Yechury.