Indian guru refuses to pay fine for festival that threatens ecosystem

(From AP)

India’s environmental watchdog has fined a group led by a Hindu guru Rs 50m ($739,908) for constructing features that altered the topography and flow of a Delhi river before a cultural festival this weekend.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

The National Green Tribunal ruled it would allow the Art of Living Foundation to hold the World Culture festival on payment of the fine, which the group’s leader refused.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who founded the group in 1982, said he would challenge the order in an appeals court. “We have done nothing wrong. I will go to jail but not pay the fine,” he said, adding that the foundation would clean the riverbank after the festival.

The tribunal issued the verdict on Wednesday in response to petitions filed by environmentalists who say the roads, ramps and pontoon bridges could cause irreversible damage to the Yamuna floodplains. Read More

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