Art of Living wants new expert panel


NEW DELHI: The Art of Living Foundation on Monday asked the National Green Tribunal to reconstitute the expert committee for assessing damage to the Yamuna floodplain because of a three-day festival organised there by the organisation.

The festival, organised in March, was allowed by the tribunal on the condition that the foundation would pay Rs 5 crore upfront and whatever amount the expert committee settled at later. The foundation has not paid the whole compensation yet.

The organisation’s application will be considered on Tuesday.

The tribunal, however, did not take too kindly to the application.

“What is your problem? You keep on filing applications. How can you raise fingers, these persons in expert committee are highly qualified. What is the status of inspection? Has the committee inspected the site? Tell us tomorrow,” the bench said.

On May 25, an expert committee comprising C R Babu, A K Gosain and Brij Gopal was directed to inspect the site and assess the damage to the Yamuna floodplains.

“The Art of Living objects to the committee comprising Brij Gopal, Prof Gosain,Prof CR Babu headed by Sashi Shekhar, who arrived at an arbitrary figure of Rs 120 crore based on a very ‘brief’ assessment, without following a scientific process. The panel has prejudged the issue and are under self-imposed pressure to justify that figure, creating a bias for itself,” the foundation said in a statement.