The controversial mega event planned by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's World Culture Festival kicks off today, PM Modi is expected to be a part of the inauguration ceremony. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday gave green signal to the Art of Living, which is organising the World Culture Festival, on the Yamuna floodplains but they have to pay the fine of Rs 5-crore prior to the commencement of the event. Failing to do so, the law will take its own course.
The event is to commence from 5pm on Friday but the fine that was imposed was not paid till Thursday evening. "They still have time till tomorrow to deposit the Rs 5crore fine as environmental compensation, in compliance with the directions of the tribunal," NGT said, responding to an application which pointed out that AOL had not paid the amount till Thursday. The bench, however, didn't ask AOL's lawyer when they would be depositing the fine."If there is any breach of any condition, the matter will be taken up as and when required and the law will take its own course," said NGT chairperson Swatantar Kumar.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar of Art of Living had said that he would prefer to go to jail than pay the fine imposed by NGT for environmental violations on the floodplains due to massive constructions. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar had also tweeted that AOL was not "satisfied" with the verdict that NGT gave and would appeal against it, adding, "Satyamev Jayate".
According reports, the bench had asked DDA's lawyer if the fine had been paid, adding that if it wasn't paid by 4pm, the permission for the event would be cancelled. This, however, couldn't be verified. An urgent hearing on a fresh plea seeking a stay on the three-day event was also refused by the tribunal; tribunal claims that Art of Living has not taken proper permission from the authorities.