NGT verdict on Ravi Shankar’s event on Thursday

New Delhi, March 2 (IANS) The National Green Tribunal (NGT) is expected to deliver on Thursday its verdict on the plea filed against spiritual guru Ravi Shankar’s World Culture Festival.

Sources in NGT, privy to the development, told IANS on Wednesday that it is the only case lined up for hearing before the special bench of the tribunal on Thursday.

The Art of Living, headed by spiritual guru Ravi Shankar, is organising world cultural festival in the national capital between March 11 and 13 that is expected to be attended by at least 35 lakh people from 155 countries.

One of the petitioners told IANS that Sanjay Parikh, counsel for the petitioners, told NGT that Delhi Development Authority (DDA) should also be fined in the case as the permission granted by the central government’s agency to Art of Living, the organising body of the event, is illegal.

“All the three committees formed on the issue in their reports have insisted that environment laws have been violated by the event organisers. Even the DDA in its order passed on December 15, 2015 has violated the norms. So the quantum of punishment for them should be the same as that of organisers of Art of Living,” co-petitioner and environmental activist Ritwick Dutta told IANS on Wednesday.

Parikh is representing the activists before the NGT bench while Art of Living is being represented by counsel Rajeev Bansal.

Meanwhile, Art of Living explained to the tribunal on Wednesday that they are not doing any permanent construction on the Yamuna flood-plain which may pose a threat to flora or fauna.

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