Pay Rs 5 Crore Otherwise Event Will be Cancelled: NGT

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New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal on Thursday said if Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living doesn’t pay the Rs 5 crore fine to the Delhi development Authority (DDA) by 4 pm today, it could revoke its clearance for the mega event starting Friday.

The green court had imposed the fine on Wednesday after it found the Art of Living guilty of not giving complete details of the three-day World Culture Festival being held on the banks of river Yamuna in the national capital.

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The Art of Living has been accused of destroying the fragile ecosystem on the Yamuna floodplains by felling trees and making concrete construction for the event, expected to be attended by 35 lakh people.

Earlier today, Sri Sri said he does not mind going to jail if the green court wants him to. Asked if he would go to jail having refused to pay the fine, he told NDTV: “Yes, I will”. He also said that he would not pay the fine of Rs 5 crore slapped by the National Green Tribunal.

The spiritual guru also said that the structure being made for the event was temporary and will be dismantled after the event. “The structure created for the event is temporary and will be dismantled after the event. We wanted to create awareness about Yamuna through this event,” said Shankar.

The spiritual guru also claimed Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be attending the event. “The Prime Minister is coming and the President has sent a letter wishing us for the event,” he said.

There were reports that Modi might skip the event due to security reasons. President Pranab Mukherjee had already refused to attend after photos of Indian Army soldiers deployed to work for the event went viral earlier this week.

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