NGT accepts plea against Art of Living’s Delhi event

New Delhi, Feb 26 (IANS) The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday accepted a plea against an event being organised by Art of Living foundation, headed by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, for violating environmental laws.

Environmental activist Manish Mishra, who had moved the NGT against the event, confirmed to IANS that his plea has been accepted and the tribunal would proceed the daily hearing on the matter from March 1.

“The Tribunal has accepted our case today and summoned the organisers for a speedy trial which will begin from Tuesday (March 1),” Mishra told IANS.

The Art of Living is organising world cultural festival in the national capital between March 11 and 13 that is expected to be attended by 35 lakh people from 155 countries, a statement released by the foundation said.

“To be held from March 11-13 in New Delhi, the venue for the festival will cover an area of 1,000 acres and will witness the world’s largest stage set-up spread over an area of 7 acres. Over 25,000 artists are expected to perform at the festival which includes 8,000 musicians playing 40 instruments in a Musical Symphony,” it said.

Mishra has described the event “blatant violation of environmental laws” and asserted in his petition to the tribunal to stop it.

“To create a world record, they are trying to build a stage, spread over 7 acres, over which thousands of musicians are supposed to play at the same time. Construction on flood-plains is prohibited as it not only affects the natural flow of the river but even impacts the ecosystem. This is blatant violation of environmental laws and tribunal should take a note of it and stop it from happening,” Mishra said.

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