NGT holds Sri Sri Ravishankar's AOL responsible for Yamuna floodplains damage

NGT holds Sri Sri Ravishankar's AOL responsible for Yamuna floodplains damage

NGT holds Sri Sri Ravishankar's AOL responsible for Yamuna floodplains damage

Reports say that more amount could be taken from the AOL if five crores fall short.

Meanwhile, the AOL has said that it will move the Supreme Court against the NGT's verdict holding it responsible for the damage caused to the floodplains.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday (December 7) held liable Art of Living (AoL) for harming the ecosystem of the Yamuna floodplains by organizing three-day cultural festival a year ago and ordered AoL to compensate for the restoration works.

The panel did not levy any additional penalty on the foundation, and said that the Rs 5-crore fine that Art of Living had paid in 2016 would be used for restoration work.

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The Art of Living Foundation said it was disappointed with the decision taken by the NGT.

The bench further added, "DDA failed to exercise its powers with regard to maintaining the ecology and floodplain".

An expert committee, headed by Shashi Shekhar, Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, said in April that it would cost ₹13.29 crore and take nearly 10 years to restore the damaged floodplains.

The AoL's contention came in the backdrop of an expert committee earlier telling the NGT that a whopping Rs 42.02 crore would be required to restore Yamuna floodplains which were ravaged due to the AoL cultural extravaganza.

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For its part, the DDA had submitted that it had drawn up plans for beautification, afforestation, development of wetland and ecological restoration of the Yamuna floodplains.

"We will appeal to the Supreme Court".

"We have never caused any damage to the environment but have in fact worked for preserving and reviving it through various environment-related projects over the years", the organisation said.

It claimed that the event was conducted after complying with all environmental norms by procuring approvals from the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change department, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee, the Uttar Pradesh Irrigation Committee, Delhi Disaster Management Authority, Irrigation and Flood Control Department of Delhi and others.

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