The 'World Culture Festival' was certainly a huge gathering of people on banks of river Yamuna. The fest organised by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar as an Art of Living (AOL) extravaganza. The fest has completely destroyed the riverbed, revealed an expert committee of the National Green Tribunal.
The committee observes various pollution factors and current situation of the entire floodplain area used for the main event site. The floodplain site between DND flyover and the Barapulla drain (on the right bank of river Yamuna) has been completely destroyed, not simply damaged.
According to the committee report, the ground is now totally leveled, compacted and hardened with concrete and other materials. It is totally devoid of water bodies or depressions and almost completely devoid of any vegetation.
The area where the grand stage was erected (and the area immediately behind it) is heavily consolidated - most likely with a different kind of external material used to level the ground and compress it, wrote one of the expert in the report.
Huge amount of earth and debris have been dumped to construct the ramps for access from the DND flyover and from the two pontoon bridges across the Barapulla drain, the committee, set up by the NGT, told a bench headed Justice Swatanter Kumar.
The tribunal had directed the seven-member expert committee headed by Shashi Shekhar, Secretary of Ministry of Water Resources, and senior scientists and experts from National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, IIT, Delhi and other agencies to inspect the site of the fest held in March 2016.