The petition objects to the choice of venue on grounds of environmental pollution

Petition seeking shifting of Sri Sris Art of Living event gets mass support online Vimlendu Jha, Facebook
news Environment Monday, March 07, 2016 - 16:24

A petition seeking the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Justice TS Thakur, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and others to shift the venue of the World Culture Festival has attracted more than 4,000 signatures on in three days.

Sri Sri Ravishankar’s The Art of Living Foundation, is scheduled to host the three-day festival from March 11-13 on the flood-plains of the Yamuna river in the national capital.

The petition by Swechha India objects to the choice of venue on grounds of environmental pollution and violation of NGT guidelines.

On February 23, The News Minute had reported that an NGT expert body had recommended a fine of Rs 120 crore on Sri Sri’s The Art of Living for damaging the Yamuna.

However, The Art of Living claimed that in strict adherence to the NGT direction, it has not carried out any construction or concretization at the World Culture festival site.

The online petition says, “As the integral part of the aquatic system of any river, floodplains are the natural space for the river to dissipate its energy. A river with vulnerable and damaged floodplains is one step closer to death, to say the least.”

On his Facebook page, Sri Sri complained that The Art of Living was being unfairly maligned, since it was actually helping clean the Yamuna rather than polluting it.

“It takes enormous courage and commitment to ready a place where once one could not even breathe due to the stench. Thanks to the efforts of over a 100,000 Delhi households, who for 3 months prepared enzymes to clean nallahs, methane emissions have reduced in just 2 weeks.

Toxicity has reduced enough that locals have reported a significant reduction in foul smell and birds and buffaloes who've never ventured near the water, are now entering it. Even the buffaloes recognise the change!”