AOL Event on Yamuna Flood Plain an Ecological Disaster: HC

Delhi HC said that Sri Sri’s WCF, which will take place on the Yamuna floodplains, is an ecological disaster.

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living event, the World Culture Festival, is an ecological disaster in the making, says Delhi HC. (Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)

Taking a note of news reports on the Art of Living event which is to take place on the banks of Yamuna, the Delhi High Court, on Wednesday, said it appears to be a “disaster” from an “ecological point of view”.

That (AOL event) is a disaster from an ecological point of view due to the removal of the shrubs and trees. The area has been flattened. You (government) have given permission for a big pandal on the flood plain. We are only going by newspaper reports.
Justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva

The observation was made during the hearing of a PIL on the issue of unauthorised constructions on the flood plain of the Yamuna in the Jaitpur and Mithapur areas of the national capital. The court said that the government should consider making the structures in the area compliant with building bye-laws as well as norms for seismic zone IV if the unauthorised colonies there were going to be regularised.

It advised the authorities, including the Lieutenant Governor, Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the municipal corporation to take action against the builders who “duped many poor people” into buying houses in that area.

“Even if demolition is not carried out, police action should be there,” the bench said. Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, appearing for DDA, told the court that in a recent meeting held by a joint task team, set up to address the issue, it was decided to prevent further unauthorised construction in the two areas.

The ASG said an action plan has been formulated for “containment” of construction in the area by setting up CCTV cameras, initiating proceedings against people engaged in fresh construction, confiscation of building material and various other measures, including police patrolling.

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