As Delhi is gearing up for World Culture Festival on March 11-13, sadly the event has already run into controversy. There was a debate in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday on whether the event should be allowed or not.
The event is being organised by Art of Living Foundation led by spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar. Here are 10 reasons why the event has run into hot waters.
1)Critics say there has been massive destruction of ecosystem of floodplains of Yamuna.
2)There has been compaction of area of land between the DND flyover and river with entire area of floodplain having been leveled. According to NGT, water bodies in this stretch have been compacted which could disturb natural drainage.
3)Topography of floodplains have been changed to requirement for event. Stretches of land have been leveled while several have been raised using JCBs which disregards flood control function that floodplains serve
4)Parking sites are being constructed on both side of the river that pose risks of improper debris disposal as well as irreversible compacting in plains.
5)Two bridges across Yamuna river and three smaller ones near Barapulla are being constructed. This is in direct violation of 2015 NGT order that banned any activity on river.
6)Entire area is littered with construction material. Construction material, if not cleared properly, could disturb ecological balances.
7)Fitting of 650 toilets has been planned across the venue. Combined with waste generated by huge number of people expected, this would signify a considerable stress of waste disposal, which if not handled carefully may further degrade floodplains.
8)Not less than 3.5 million people in thousands of vehicles expected to reach venue. Diesel-run generators would be used for electricity in the event with chances of leaking. Such a big programme is bound to have a polluting impact in river.
9)No prior permission taken from police and fire departments.
10)DDA says permission was taken for a small event and not of this magnitude.