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Activists oppose encroachment of Yamuna floodplains for Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's event, urge President and PM to ignore invite
A group of intellectuals and social activists have written a letter to Indian President, Prime Minister and concerned government representatives to stop the encroachment and destruction of Yamuna floodplains to celebrate 35th Anniversary of 'Art of Living' Foundation, a private organisation formed by.
The event is scheduled in March this year. According to the activiststhe preparations are in in progress, which is destabilising and destructing the ecosystem of river as floodplains are getting encroached and damaged largely, which used to play a crucial role in maintaining biodiversity and health of the river.

The activists have appealed President and PM to not attend the event while saying that their presence might appear to lend legitimacy to an illegal activity.

According to a release the said event is being planned after clearing, compacting, dumping of earth and construction underway over some 1000 acres of the active flood plain of river Yamuna in Delhi, and the matter being sub-judice at the National Green Tribunal in OA No 65 of 2016 as prima facie the said preparations are in violation of the NGT judgment of 13 January 2015 in OA No 6 of 2012 and OA No 300 of 2013.

Though the event might be for few days, they caution that the devastation that results from its preparatory and operational phase (specially of the dimension of this event where some 35 lakh persons are expected to participate and a stage spread over some 7 acres is planned to be constructed) would outlasts decades in terms of river Yamuna's health, which already is in no great shape.

The signatures include EAS Sarma, Former Secretary, Govt of India; Medha Patkar, Narmada Bachao Andolan; Madhu Bhaduri, former ambassador, Paritosh Tyagi, Chairman & Managing Trustee-IDC Foundation; Bharat Jhunjhunwala, Former Professor, IIM-B, Uttarakhand; Dr Latha Anantha, River Research Centre, Thrissur; Samir Mehta, River Basin Friends, Mumbai; Dr Sudhirendar Sharma, Ecological Foundation, Delhi; Vimal Bhai, Matu Jan Sangathan, Uttarakhand; Malika Virdi, Himal Prakriti, Munsiari, Uttarakhand; Emmanuel Theophilus, Himal Prakriti, Munsiari, Uttarakhand; Ramnarayan. K, Himal Prakriti, Munsiari, Uttarakhand; Parineeta Dandekar, SANDRP, Pune and Himanshu Thakkar, SANDRP, Delhi.

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