Sri Sri visits World Culture Fest venue

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New Delhi, March 16 (IANS) Before leaving for Bangalore, the Art of Living (AoL) founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Wednesday visited the Yamuna river bank where the three-day long World Culture Festival was held amid controversy that it caused ecological damage.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar inspected the ongoing cleanliness drive at the venue, where hundreds of his disciples had volunteered to clean up.

However, against the claims of AoL, the other side of Yamuna — including most of the areas of Chilla Khadar village near Hanuman temple — remains widely untouched.

The AoL spokesperson said that the cleanliness operations will take about one month.

“Sri Sri reached Yamuna banks and inspected the ongoing cleaning operations at the venue. He also instructed the teams on further course of action for the next one month. Sri Sri appreciated the public for not littering the place,” said an AoL statement.

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The statement added that currently carpets were being rolled and chairs were stacked at the venue.

Meanwhile, the farmers across the Yamuna floodplains, through whose fields temporary tracks and roads were cut for the fest, have complained that garbage was removed only from some places against the claims of AoL.

The garbage in the fields, especially those already cultivated, had created problems for the farmers.

“There is garbage everywhere, it’s in the fields and at the roadside they temporarily paved by acquiring the agricultural land,” said Dayaram, a farmer at the village at Yamuna floodplains.

“Sometimes, people from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi come and collect a pile of garbage but that’s nothing as compared to the filth spread around,” he said.

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The AoL had claimed that the structure of the seven-acre stage would take two to three weeks to dismantle, and cleaning up efforts would continue thereafter.

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

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