Pay Fine by Friday or Face the Consequences: NGT Tells AOL

The NGT has given AOL time till Friday to pay the Rs 5 crore fine, failing which the law will take its own course.

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The NGT has given AOL time till Friday to pay the Rs 5 crore fine, failing which the law will take its course. (Photo Courtesy: <a href="http://srisriravishankar.org/">srisriravishankar.org</a>)

The National Green Tribunal on Thursday made it clear to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art Of Living (AOL) Foundation, which is organising World Culture Festival, that it has time till Friday to pay the Rs 5 crore fine.

They still have time till tomorrow to deposit Rs 5 crore fine as environmental compensation in compliance with the directions of the tribunal. If there is any breach of any condition, the matter will be taken up as and when required and law will take its own course.
Swantantar Kumar, NGT

The tribunal also refused to give an urgent hearing on a fresh plea seeking a stay on the three-day event on the banks of river Yamuna from tomorrow, alleging that AOL has not taken permissions from competent authorities as directed by the tribunal.

There is no urgency in it. You can file a proper application and point out the deficiencies in compliance with the directions of the tribunal. We will see if there is any breach or not as per the law.
Swantantar Kumar, NGT

The green panel directed the Central Pollution Control Board and the Ministry of Environment and Forests to issue proper directions to the organizers of the event, with regard to disposal of municipal solid waste and drinking water.

The counsel appearing for the DPCC informed the tribunal that as directed by it, a committee was already visiting the site and, if necessary, directions would be issued.

The tribunal, which had earlier in the morning asked the Delhi Developmental Authority counsel whether AOL had deposited the fine or not, had fixed the matter for 4 pm for an in-chamber hearing. However, the green panel later agreed to hear the matter in the open court.

The NGT had on Wednesday expressed its helplessness in banning the event, saying it was “fait accompli”. Nevertheless, it had imposed a fine of Rs 5 crore on AOL as environmental compensation after coming down on it heavily for not disclosing its full plans. It also fined the DDA and the Environment Ministry for their role.

The green tribunal, which found several environmental violations by the organisers, blamed the delay on the part of environmental activists in raising the issue before it, which compelled it to grant permission for event.

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