AOL’s ‘World Culture Festival’ begins from today, guru won’t pay fine


The controversial three-day cultural event is all set now to open on Friday on the Yamuna flood plains even as Art of Living guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar struck a defiant note that he will not pay Rs 5 crore fine imposed by Green Tribunal and would rather go to jail.

AOL foundation has time till Friday to give initial environmental compensation of Rs.5 crore for holding its World Culture Festival on Yamuna flood plains, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) said on Thursday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to inaugurate the ‘World Culture Festival’ that plans to bring together people of talent, eminence and repute in which 3.5 million people are expected to participate.

Read More: PM Modi to host World Cultural Event

In a related development, the Supreme Court on Thursday refused to entertain a plea seeking to block the holding of three-day event which will have performances from artists of different countries.

The apex court also asked PIL petitioner Anil Kumar to approach the NGT as it was a specialised forum to address the issue and refused to hear the plea mentioned by a counsel in the post lunch sitting of the court.

The weather office’s prediction of heavy rains for Saturday gave anxious moments to the organisers who were giving final touches to their preparation for the event that will conclude on Sunday.

“Heavy rain very likely at isolated places over Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi,” said an official announcement for March 12 (Saturday) by the India Meteorological Department.

Delhi Pollution Control Committee(DPCC) said in its reply to National Green Tribunal that “directions will be issued soon after the expert committee completes the inspection of the site”.

The expert committee comprising senior officials from Central Pollution Control Board, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Ministry of Water Resources and DPCC inspected the Yamuna flood plains on Thursday.

“The Art of Living has not got the permission from the department of Water resources, Delhi Police, department of fire control and safety for the event. We will move the application in the tribunal regarding the safety of the stage and the venue tomorrow (Friday) morning if required,” Sanjay Parikh told reporters after the hearing.

Wefornews Bureau

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