Skip to main content

NGT panel claims 2016 event ruined Yamuna floodplains; Art of Living calls it flawed ( downtoearth,}

The Art of Living’s three-day cultural festival in March 2016 destroyed the entire floodplain area between DND flyover and the Barapulla drain used during the event, according to the expert panel appointed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT). The committee, headed by Shashi Shekhar, secretary of Ministry of Water Resources, submitted its report to NGT on March 12.

According to the panel’s estimate, rehabilitation of Yamuna floodplains will cost more than Rs 42 crore and at least 10 years.

The AOL Foundation has, however, called the committee report “flawed, unscientific and biased”.

Committee’s observations

The report estimates that a total of about 180 hectares (about 420 acres) of floodplains of the Yamuna have been affected ecologically at different magnitudes.

The seven-member committee also submitted a time-bound action plan for physical and biological rehabilitation of the affected floodplain. The physical component is estimated to cost around Rs 28.73 crore and the biological part would cost around Rs 13.29 crore.

When it comes to biological rehabilitation, the panel suggested development of catchment areas and stimulation of natural topography of the floodplains. For physical rehabilitation, the panel has proposed rejuvenation of soil in the area by de-compacting, removal of stones and construction of embankments along roadsides.

It suggested that the rehabilitation costs be divided between the Art of Living and other agencies, as the NGT deems fit.

Art of Living’s response

In an official statement released today, the AOL Foundation highlighted “inconsistencies and falsehoods” of the NGT committee. The statement reads: “From randomly pronouncing damages for Rs 120 crore, they have come down to Rs 13 crore; from permanent damage they are now saying 10 years. From damage to wetlands they are now saying damage to floodplains. Their inconsistencies expose their lies”.

Pointing out that the report has not been signed by Shashi Shekhar and Brij Gopal, the AOL Foundation’s official statement questioned how a committee can submit its report without the consent of its Chairman.

This was the last of several reports submitted by the committee and the NGT is likely to take a call on it at its next hearing on April 20.

Popular posts from this blog

Cloud seeding

Demonstrating the function of the flare rack that carries silver iodide for cloud-seeding through an aircraft. 
Water is essential for life on the earth. Precipitation from the skies is the only source for it. India and the rest of Asia are dependent on the monsoons for rains. While the South West Monsoon is the main source for India as a whole, Tamil Nadu and coastal areas of South Andhra Pradesh get the benefit of the North East Monsoon, which is just a less dependable beat on the reversal of the South West Monsoon winds.

SC asks Centre to strike a balance on Rohingya issue (.hindu)

Supreme Court orally indicates that the government should not deport Rohingya “now” as the Centre prevails over it to not record any such views in its formal order, citing “international ramifications”.

The Supreme Court on Friday came close to ordering the government not to deport the Rohingya.

It finally settled on merely observing that a balance should be struck between humanitarian concern for the community and the country's national security and economic interests.

The court was hearing a bunch of petitions, one filed by persons within the Rohingya community, against a proposed move to deport over 40,000 Rohingya refugees. A three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, began by orally indicating that the government should not deport Rohingya “now”, but the government prevailed on the court to not pass any formal order, citing “international ramifications”. With this, the status quo continues even though the court gave the community liberty to approach it in …

India’s criminal wastage: over 10 million works under MGNREGA incomplete or abandoned (hindu)

In the last three and half years, the rate of work completion under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has drastically declined, leading to wastage of public money and leaving villages more prone to drought. This could also be a reason for people moving out of the programme.

At a time when more than one-third of India’s districts are reeling under a drought-like situation due to deficit rainfall, here comes another bad news. The works started under the MGNREGA—close to 80 per cent related to water conservation, irrigation and land development—are increasingly not being completed or in practice, abandoned.

Going by the data (as on October 12) in the Ministry of Rural Development’s website, which tracks progress of MGNREGA through a comprehensive MIS, 10.4 million works have not been completed since April 2014. In the last three and half years, 39.7 million works were started under the programme. Going by the stipulation under the programme, close to 7…