Ignoring the professionalism of the expert panel appointed to review the damage caused to Yamuna floodplains, spiritual leader Ravi Shankar’s organization Art of Living (AoL) today claimed before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that the expert panel is fabricating information related to the damage caused to the Yamuna floodplains. It may be recalled that the expert panel was appointed to review the damage caused to Yamuna floodplains due to the mega cultural event organized by Art of Living from March 11-13 last year. AoL accused the expert committee of going beyond its jurisdiction to make recommendations that do not appear to be rational.
The expert committee had submitted evidence in the form of a satellite image dated September 5, 2015, but AoL said that this image was taken just immediately after the monsoon season, wherein it would be natural to see wetlands on the Yamuna floodplains. AoL argued that why only one photo and not multiple photos from different time of the year were submitted as evidence. “This is distortion of facts to deliberately mislead the tribunal. Rainfall statistics for the year 2015 clearly show the satellite image is a depiction of ground conditions saturated due to the monsoon which was abnormally high. This is completely extraneous, irrelevant, and non-application of mind. It misrepresents the ground conditions and a clear case of selection bias on part of the committee,” AoL’s lawyer said.