Ravi Shankar said there was no proof that the festival caused pollution in the river.

Sri Sri defends AoL event on Yamuna says aim was to bring river pollution into limelight
news Environment Tuesday, May 09, 2017 - 13:51

Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Tuesday said his organisation was facing criticism over holding the World Culture fest along the Yamuna in Delhi when its aim was to bring the river pollution into limelight.

"Our objective was to attract people's attention to the dirt and pollution in the Yamuna through the event (last year). We wanted to follow the pollution issue with the government to clean the river," he told the Natural Farming Summit in Bengaluru. 

"'Magar yaha pe ulta chor kotwal ko dante'" (But it turned out to be a case of pot calling the kettle black), he added.

Ravi Shankar said there was no proof that the festival caused pollution in the river.

The spiritual leader also batted for the promotion of natural and organic farming along with rejuvenation of rivers.

On April 20, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had slammed Sri Sri for blaming the central government and the green panel for the Yamuna plains damage.

"Just because you have filed an application, who gives you the liberty to say what you want. You have no sense of responsibility," NGT Chairperson Swatanter Kumar had said.

In his statement a day earlier, Sri Sri had said the authorities should have never given permission to hold the Festival if the Yamuna was "so fragile and pure". 

He said the fine should be levied on the NGT as well as the central and Delhi governments for giving permission to hold the event. 

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