Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s vision of a multi-cultural festival on the Yamuna’s floodplains has been ridiculed and looked down upon by multiple activists and political figures, who have complained of pollution to the riverbank because of the preparations.
The Art Of Living guru has denied any harm to the riverbanks, claiming to have removed the debris and cleared the area of any plastic items and pollutants. Says the spiritual leader, “it is ridiculous to say that we will be causing damage to the Yamunaji.”
The planned Olympic-sized World Cultural Festival, scheduled for March 11-13, has been a prime target for all kinds of heckles from environmental organizations and government agencies. Recently, thanks to a National Green Tribunal panel, the Art Of Living was asked to pay a fine of Rs. 120 crore to cover up for the potential “ecological damage” that the festival preparations would cause.
Though, not everyone was against the idea of this festival. Kapil Mishra, the minister for water and tourism in Delhi and the chairman of the Delhi Jal Board stated the following on Twitter in support of the event: “I have supported the event. It is a good idea that will see lakhs of people come to the Yamuna and build a connection with the river. They will see its condition and it will put pressure on officials and us politicians to make sure we clean and revive the river”.