AoL begins cleaning up world culture fest venue

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New Delhi, March 14 (IANS) Over 100 volunteers on Monday started dismantling and cleaning the area on the Yamuna river bank where the three-day Art of Living World Culture Festival was held amid controversy that it caused ecological damage.

One of the two floating bridges constructed by the PWD will take around 15 days to dismantle, a PWD official said. The other floating bridge was constructed by the army.

An AOL spokesperson said the structure of the seven-acre stage would take 2-3 weeks to dismantle and cleaning up efforts would continue thereafter.

“We will begin cleaning the other side of the Yamuna river from tomorrow (Tuesday). Over 200 volunteers will report here on Tuesday morning for that,” said Savita Bhutanui, one of the AoL coordinators.

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AoL said five agencies were assigned the task of housekeeping and cleaning, garbage collection and removal, dustbin dissemination, mobile toilets and mosquito fumigation.

“The cleaning contract has been given to Hemant Gaekwad, who incidentally also cleans the prime minister’s house and Rashtrapati Bhavan,” AoL said in a statement.

Hundreds of students and other disciples of AoL founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar volunteered to clean up the main venue of the World Culture Festival.

“Since the festival ended last night (Sunday), volunteers have been cleaning the area. We joined cleaning service today (Monday) afternoon. We are dedicated to our cause and its like a holiday to us,” said Rasesh, one of the many fourth-year IIT-Delhi students volunteering to clean up the venue.

Meanwhile, the decomposed body of an unidentified male was found on the Yamuna river bank near the World Culture Festival venue on Monday, police said.

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Prima facie, the man was killed two-three days ago somewhere else and the body was dumped just after the festival ended, a police official said.

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