New Delhi, Mar 7 (DHNS): Scores of residents from across the capital are urging President Pranab Mukherjee to not attend the closing ceremony of the Art of Living event to be held along the banks of Yamuna.
People from all walks of life have written letters to the president, appealing him to not be a part of the three-day festival, which they believe is destroying the riverbed.
The three day event, World Cultural Festival, will be held from March 11-13 on the Yamuna floodplains to mark 35 years of Art of Living and lakhs of followers are expected to attend.
The event has been in controversy after a petition was filed by environmental activist and convener of ‘Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan, in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) saying that the organisers are undertaking construction activity and the vegetation has been removed. The matter is sub-judice.
“More than 20 days back I was going to Noida via DND and saw construction happening over there and was really amazed by the mammoth structure coming up on the active floodplain. Then I got to know about the event. This is one place my son and I visit for bird watching and I noticed that birds have completely vanished from there after they have flattened the area,” said Nikhil Kapoor, a doctor by
He had written an individual letter to the president few days ago highlighting his concerns.
“Once such a big function happens on the banks, it will open the possibility for other such big functions in future and the president should not support this,” he said.
“Please I request you to nip this evil right at the bud because if this is not stopped here then the damage control measures will all be a bigger waste,” his letter read.
Similarly, Bharti Chaturvedi, director of Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group, has also written to the president urging him not to lend legitimacy to the festival.
“This ecosystem is as good as Corbett Park and the event is a violation of it. Moreover it is a breeding season for birds and due to the construction, their habitat has been destroyed. We have thus written to the president that as the head of the state, he should not lend legitimacy to something which is profoundly wrong,” she said.
The letters have been sent by students, environmentalists, retired government officials, doctors, and scientists.