The ‘World Culture Festival’ held on the banks of the river Yamuna in Delhi by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living has “completely destroyed” the riverbed, an expert committee has told the National Green Tribunal.
“The ground is now totally levelled, compacted and hardened and is totally devoid of water bodies or depressions and almost completely devoid of any vegetation,” the experts say in a 47-page report.
The floodplain, the report says, has lost “almost all its natural vegetation” like trees, shrubs, tall grasses and aquatic vegetation including water hyacinth crucial to the survival of a large number of animals and organisms.
Seven experts were tasked by the National Green Tribunal to assess the impact of the festival held in March.
Art of Living was allowed to go ahead with the event on the condition that it would pay five crores against the damage.