Sri Sri defends mega event, says 'eco stability' preserved during preparations

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (Photo: ANI)

Following the furore over the World Culture Festival being organised by the Art of Living foundation on the Yamuna floodplains, spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Tuesday defended the event, saying not a single tree has been cut and the ecological stability has been maintained during the preparations.

"We are asserting that we will turn the place into a beautiful bio diversity park once we are finished with it. Since 2010, our volunteers have been working hard to clean the river and around 512 tonnes of dirt and garbage has been fished out. We want to save the Yamuna. We have not cut a single tree and have maintained ecological stability. We want to see Yamuna transformed into a beauty again," Ravi Shankar told the media here.

When asked about the measures being taken to ensure that the Yamuna river was not polluted during the mega event, he said that he has been working on the technology of enzymes, which will play a key role in the process.

"I asked the people of Delhi for a little land. I said I will sweep the land myself, but the people opposed it. We are using the technology of enzymes here and have been preparing for three months for this. The enzymes reduce the methane emission. This is a proven technology, but the people here are not even aware of enzymes," he added.


As per my knowledge, not even a single tree has been cut down, we've only trimmed four trees: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

— ANI (@ANI_news) March 8, 2016
Meanwhile, the National Green Tribunal's hearing is underway on the pleas seeking cancellation of the mega event.

Earlier, the green panel had issued notices to the Delhi Development Authority (DDA),

Delhi Government and the foundation on another plea seeking stoppage of ongoing construction work on the flood plains.

Sri Sri's Art of Living foundation says the event will feature yoga and meditation sessions, peace prayers and traditional cultural performances from around the world.

The foundation has denied there will be any permanent impact and says it has secured permission from all necessary authorities to hold the event.

"We have used only eco-friendly material like wood, mud, cloth, and scaffolding towards building a temporary stage," the foundation said in a statement.

The army has spent more than a week building two bridges which will float on the Yamuna river for the event.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to inaugurate event on Friday.

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