Art of Living event is violator of environmental norms,President skip their event,sources say

NEW DELHI: President Pranab Mukherjee would not attend a cultural festival being organised by the Art of Living Foundation later this week, a Rashtrapati Bhavan official said on Monday.It is mentioned that The Art of Living Foundation is a volunteer-based, humanitarian and educational non-governmental organizations (NGO). It was founded in 1981 by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar who is one of the biggest supporter of present PM Narendra Modi.

President Pranab Mukherjee

According to Art of Living, the President had agreed to give the valedictory speech at the World Culture Festival, which will be held on the Yamuna floodplains in east Delhi from March 11 to 13.

In the posters, hoardings and pamphlets put up and distributed across the National Capital Region, the programme has its schedule inauguration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and closing speech by the President.

However, a Rashtrapati Bhavan source said on Monday that Mr. Mukherjee would not attend the event, which has come under the scanner of National Green Tribunal (NGT) for alleged violation of environmental norms.

The NGT is hearing a case for shifting the venue as construction is banned on the floodplains.

Meanwhile, Art of Living insisted that it was only putting up temporary structures on the 1,000-acre site.

Mamta Kail, an Art of Living volunteer at the site, said “We have not dug one inch of ground. The stage is 7 acres in size, and is completely eco-friendly. No cement had been used.”

The event, which is being organised to mark the 35 anniversary of the Foundation, is expected to draw 35 lakh people.

In 2011 a public interest litigation petition was filed in the high court alleging that Art of Living had constructed huge structures, encroaching upon the water spread area of Udipalya tank. The irrigation department of the state government of Karnataka inspected the area & found that the foundation had indeed encroached upon 6.53 hectares of the tank area. A show cause notice was issued to the foundation by the state government of k’taka for grabbing Rs 50 cr land illegally in K’taka

With agencies: PTI/IANS/ANI