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The other side of World Culture Festival
The threat of environment extinction is more real than many realise. And the damage done to environment directly leads to destruction of the ecosystem. The recently concluded controversial World Culture Festival raised many questions, which need to be closely examined.
We need to think of it from all angles and when PM Narendra Modi is leading the charge of 118 countries at global stage for environment protection we must set our house in order. No one can ever say not to showcase your culture but question here is on what cost? If at the cost of environment, then we are doing grave injustice to ourselves.

Yamuna is a degraded river in India at present time and large construction over Yamuna has disastrous impact on our environment in general and ecosystem in particular. One more serious aspect is government's approach in this issue. On one side our Prime minister in Paris summit emphasized over environment issues and how to tackle the problems, on the other side the government totally backed the organizers in conducting the festival putting many questions of safeguarding environment aside.

This incident lead to the personal hollowness of Mr. Modi when at a time he supports a concept of "Equal but different responsibility". Mr. Modi's personal attention to the event is questions his priorities for the nation. Floodplain waters contain hundreds of plant and animal species and they are dependent on floodplains. These assaults constitute unpardonable encroachments.

The World Culture Festival on the West Bank of the Yamuna is an example of just that. Yamuna's fragile ecosystem, which is being assaulted by temporary structures such as a stage spread over seven acres on the river's west bank and several pontoon bridges. World over river-fronts have been developed to accommodate visitors and worshipers alike, but it also need civic and environmental planning to ensure that they don't leave behind any carbon footprints. But nothing like this happened at this function.

Another aspect is the use of armed forces in conducting the function. It is rare to see the army's involvement in a private function. Even the former army generals criticize the move of government to involve army in this program and cautioned government about the demoralizing affect this step on army.

Before the event several environmental activists filed a petition in National Green Tribunal (NGT), which led to penalty of five crore ruppeson Art of Living and reprimanded government and private organisers. But the organisers didn't pay the penalty amount, which shows the incompetence and inability of National Green Tribunal (NGT), and also the commitment of private group, which organised the function and neglect of government in collecting the amount.

The role of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in mere condoning the violation of laws and ironically also granting permission to further plunder the floodplains through WCF, exposes its structural weaknesses and intent. We add insult to injury by encroaching upon the floodplains. 

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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