The organisation also accused one of the committee members, Prof C R Babu for being biased
After an expert committee told the National Green Tribunal that it will take Rs 13.29 crore and 10 years to restore the Yamuna floodplain which was destroyed by the ‘World Cultural Festival’ last year organised by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living (AOL), the organisation has retaliated by saying that the report was leaked with a malafide intention. The statement was posted on the Twitter handle of the organisation and said it is shocking to hear about the leakage of the report. “The Expert Committee of the NGT who were supposed to be non-interested parties in the case and were to act as the eyes and ears of the judges have given an interview in the public,” the statement said.
Here is the statement released by AOL:
The organisation also accused one of the committee members, Prof C R Babu for being biased. “He has been canvassing for the petitioner Manoj Mishra, in our case, before the media. In a media interview, he maligned the Art of Living, concluding that WCF had caused damaged even before any assessment was done. This shows his bias without doubt,” the statement read.
The expert committee, headed by Shashi Shekhar, Secretary of Ministry of Water Resources, has informed the green panel that major restoration work has to be carried out to compensate for the damage to Yamuna floodplains. “It has been estimated that approximately 120 hectares (about 300 acres) of floodplains of the west (right bank) of the river Yamuna and about 50 hectares (120 acres) floodplains of the eastern side (left bank) of the river have been adversely impacted ecologically at different magnitudes,” it said.
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The committee had observed that entire floodplain area used for the main event site between DND flyover and the Barapulla drain (on the right bank of river Yamuna) has been completely destroyed, not simply damaged. “The ground is now totally levelled, compacted and hardened and is totally devoid of water bodies or depressions and almost completely devoid of any vegetation. The area where the grand stage was erected (and the area immediately behind it) is heavily consolidated – most likely with a different kind of external material used to level the ground and compress it,” it added.