Art of Living case: DDA questions NGT panel, gets court rap
The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) on Thursday questioned the recommendations of the National Green Tribunal (NGT)-constituted expert panel in connection with NGO Art of Living Foundation’s World Culture Festival. The three-day event was hosted on the Yamuna floodplains, which were reportedly completely destroyed ecologically.
The expert panel had suggested that the Rs 42 crore, required to undo the damage to Yamuna floodplains, should be divided between the Art of Living Foundation and government agencies.
DDA, however, contended that it had granted a “conditional” permission for the festival, which included indemnity for them, and after being assured that there would be no violations. At the same time, arguing against some of the panel’s recommendations, the NGT pulled up DDA for casting aspersions on the expert committee.
Following detailed arguments on Tuesday, a four-member NGT Bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar said the matter would be heard on Friday. During the last hearing, the NGT had sought a response from the government authorities regarding Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s statement that the Centre, Delhi government, and NGT should pay for the environmental damage caused by the festival.
Meanwhile, arguing that DDA was not responsible for any damage to the floodplains, its senior counsel Rajiv Bansal said the …read more