After the Yamuna floodplains were majorly damaged last year during the mega cultural event organized by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living (AOL), an expert committee has told the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that it will cost Rs 13.29 crore and take almost 10 years to fully rehabilitate the Yamuna floodplains. The expert committee was headed by Shashi Shekhar, Secretary of Ministry of Water Resources. It may be recalled that last year NGT had given permission for the cultural event and had imposed an interim environment compensation of Rs 5 crore on AOL.
However, with the findings of the expert committee, it is now clear that the damage has been extensive and a lot more funds and time will be needed to rehabilitate the Yamuna floodplains. The report presented by the expert committee mentions that almost all natural vegetation such as shrubs, tall grasses, trees, and aquatic vegetation has been lost as a result of the cultural event. The area has also lost most of its fauna that included various animals, insects and mud-dwelling organisms.