Yamuna floodplains destroyed due to a cultural event organised by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living (AOL), will cost Rs 13.29 crore and it will take almost 10 years, an expert committee has told the National Green Tribunal.
The expert committee, headed by Shashi Shekhar, Secretary of Ministry of Water Resources, has informed the green panel that major restoration work has to be carried out to compensate for the damage to Yamuna floodplains.
It has been estimated that approximately 120 hectares of floodplains of west (right bank) of the river Yamuna and about 50 hectares floodplains of the east side (left bank) of the river have been adversely impacted ecologically at different magnitudes.
The green body had last year allowed AOL to hold three days ‘World Culture Festival’ of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living on the Yamuna flood plains while expressing its helplessness in banning the event.
It, however, had imposed Rs 5 crore as interim environment compensation on the foundation for the event’s impact on the environment.
A seven-member expert committee had told NGT that the event organised had used area was the site between DND flyover and the Barapulla drain which has “completely destroyed” the riverbed.
The committee has said in the report that due to the three-day event, the floodplain has lost “almost all its natural vegetation” like trees, shrubs, tall grasses, aquatic vegetation including water hyacinth which provides habitat to large number of animals, insects and mud-dwelling organisms.
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