Art of Living event affecting Yamuna floodplains? NGT worried

New Delhi :In fresh trouble for Art of Living’s three-day ‘World Culture Festival’, a Noida-based environmentalist today moved the National Green Tribunal against the foundation’s plan to release ‘enzymes’ into 17 drains joining Yamuna for cleaning the river.

Petitioner Anand Arya has referred to news reports in which Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the founder of Art of Living, has stated that lakhs of people are bringing “enzymes” which would be released in the dirty drains to cleanse the water.

The three-day event will be held from March 11-13 on the west bank of Yamuna flood plains to celebrate 35 years of The Art of Living foundation. The President and the Prime Minister have given their consent to the part of inaugural ceremony.

“This proposed activity would be in blatant violation of the provisions of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, and the Biological Diversity Act, 2002, since it is, basically, introducing foreign elements into the river, without any scientific study or information,” Arya said in his plea.

He also raised questions with respect to the release of the enzymes and asked whether these “foreign elements” have approval from the central or state pollution control boards.

“If so approved, can the results as submitted for approvals from central or state pollution control boards be shared and published in the newspapers by Art of Living,” the environmentalist has asked.

Earlier, the green panel had issued notices to the Delhi government, Delhi Development Authority and Art of Living Foundation on another plea seeking stoppage of ongoing construction work on the flood plains of Yamuna.

It had also constituted an expert committee headed by Water Resources Secretary Shashi Shekhar along with professors Gosain, C R Babu and Prof Brij Gopal from Jaipur and directed them to inspect the site in question.