18/03/2016 6:05 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST

World Culture Festival Would Have Been Cheaper Elsewhere: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

MONEY SHARMA via Getty Images
Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar speaks on the first day of the three-day World Culture Festival in New Delhi on March 11, 2016. Some 500,000 people are expected to attend the festival, the organisers told the court, although earlier advertisements suggested it would draw more than three million visitors with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expected to attend the event on the banks of the Yamuna River in the Indian capital. / AFP / MONEY SHARMA (Photo credit should read MONEY SHARMA/AFP/Getty Images)

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's much-hyped World Culture Festival held on the bank of Yamuna river in Delhi has left a lot of mess behind, apart from causing ecological damages, claim reports.

According to a report in The Times of India, the spiritual leader himself admitted that it would have cost him a lot less money, had he held the three-day festival at some other location.

However, insisting that the festival was organised on the banks of Yamuna river to draw attention to the river, Shankar told TOI, "The intention of having it there was to see to it that the Yamuna gets more attention. It was easy for all people to come there as well." He added that he wanted the authorities to see that there were 17 drains from Delhi which opened into the Yamuna, carrying raw sewage.

After visiting the place before heading to Bengaluru, the spiritual master said that the clean-up of the Yamuna floodplains, where the festival was held, would take about a month, reported The Hindu.

The Art of Living, in a statement said that a Delhi-based recycling startup named Pom Pom has joined as their recycling partner.

"The team was responsible for collecting the recyclables from the venue to ensure that it gets recycled and does not end up in landfill. They have already collected 22 truckloads of recyclables and a lot more is anticipated to be collected. The collected recyclables will be forwarded to factories which uses these as raw material," it added.

But the farmers across the Yamuna floodplains, through whose fields temporary tracks and roads were created for the festival, the said the garbage is being removed only from specific places, reported IANS.

Before the festival was held, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had told the Art of Living foundation to deposit Rs five crores for as a penalty for holding the World Culture Festival on the banks of river Yamunaecological and environmental compensation.

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