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Sri Sri confirms PM Modi’s participation in World Culture Festival

Sri-Sri-Ravi-Shankar

New Delhi : Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Thursday confirmed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be attending the three-day ‘World Culture Festival’ being organised by the Art of Living Foundation beginning tomorrow.

Talking to ANI, he said that Prime Minister Modi would be attending the event and added that he has received a letter from President Pranab Mukherjee wishing good luck.

Asserting that the Art of Living has very high grounds, he said that the organisation would contest the fine of Rs. five crore imposed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) ahead of the mega festival on the banks of the River Yamuna in Delhi amid environmental concerns.

“We have very high grounds and we will contest on that,” Sri Sri told ANI.

The 59-year-old also said that it was not a wrong decision on their part to organise the event on the banks of Yamuna.

“We went there and cleaned the place. The smell that used to come from that place is not coming anymore so much as it used to. So, we are for environment. And I appeal to all the environmentalists, let us all together make this a beautiful place. This cultural festival for few days is not going to damage and is not damaging the Yamuna,” he added.

Speaking on the report sent by three individual specialists on the three-day World Culture Festival, he said, “We won’t accept the report given by three people, who went there for half-an-hour. They should tell us what damage has been done. They should be sent again and they should tell us the extent of damage. They should tell us what was there before the construction.”

The NGT yesterday gave its consent for the event, but imposed a penalty of Rs. five crore on the Art of Living foundation for damaging the environment.

A bench headed by NGT chairperson Swantanter Kumar yesterday asked Ministry of Environment and Forests to file an affidavit and spell out why no environmental clearance is needed for raising temporary structures.

The direction came after the counsel appearing for the Ministry of Environment and Forests said that they have found no debris when an expert team visited the site. The counsel added that as per Environment Impact Assessment notification 2006, no environment clearance is needed for temporary structures. (ANI)

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