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A Data Entry Operator has been asked to fill 1000 forms. He fills 50 forms by the end of half-an hour, when he is joined by another steno who fills forms at the rate of 90 an hour. The entire work will be carried out in how many hours?Work done by 1st person = 100 forms per hourWork done by 2nd person = 90 forms per hourSo, total work in 1 hour would be = 190 forms per hourWork done in 5hours = 190* 5 = 950Now, remaining work is only 50 formsIn 1 hour or 60minutes, 190 forms are filled and 50 forms will be filled in = 60/190 * 50 = 15.7minutes or 16minutes (approximaty)Total time = 5hours 16minutes
What are the valid facts in the NGT v/s Art of Living case?There have been many arguments both for and against the World Culture Festival 2016 being conducted on the Yamuna plains. The National Green Tribunal alleges that the event has destroyed the river and the environment.Let us go through a detailed analysis of the various important claims put out by the National Green Tribunal’s (to be referred as NGT hereafter) Expert Committee alleging damage to the Yamuna Floodplains post the World Culture Festival, 2016 conducted by the Art of Living Foundation.I would like to present before the readers a statistically unbiased and scientifically backed representation of this case which is currently sub-judice.Land Description:Before we go further, it is essential that we first geographically define the area over which the World Culture Festival was conducted (From 11th March –13th March 2016)The land parcel is a finite piece of land over the Yamuna floodplain bound by the DND Flyover to its South; Barapulla Drain to its North;River Yamuna to its East and Ring Road to its West.Area ~ 25 hectaresCan be located on WGS (World Geodetic System) 84 coordinates 24 deg 34’55’’N and 77 deg 16’43’’EHere is the detailed image categorically bifurcating the various land sites w.r.t it’s usage for the event(Source: Google Earth, 15th of March ,2016)2. It is very essential to draw the following conclusions from the above satellite images:3-Permanently ramps existed since 2008 (Having bituminous pavement,with potholes and degenerating bituminous overlay).7-Area marked by the purple region previously had mounts of construction waste (malba) solid waste,which has been cleared for the WCF 2016 event by the Art of Living foundation at its own expense.8-Unpaved earthen road running parallel to the Barapullah drain,which is in existence at least since the year 2000,used for vehicles and earth-movers engaged in drain cleaning and slit removal in this section of Barapullah drain.The temporary installations and the make-shift stage are also clearly visible from the satellite imagery.Fig 1:Permanent Ramp 1 having bituminous pavement existed at least since Jan 2008Fig 2:Permanent Ramp 2 having bituminous pavement existed at least since Jan 2008Now, let us go and categorically visit each claim made by the NGTClaim 1: No permission sought from the NGT by the Art of Living Foundation before the eventFacts:The entire site belongs to the Delhi Development Authority (DDA)Firstly,the NGT is a court,a tribunal and an autonomous institute, not a government agency to give permissions.Here is the official permission letter sought by the Art of Living (Vyakti Vikas Kendra India-Trust of the foundation) to use the land site for the event and it no where states that prior permission from the NGT needs to be sought.As you can see, the permission letter is approved by the Honorable L.G. of Delhi and duly signed by the Office of the Chief Engineer (E.P.)Mr.D.P.Singh of the DDA on 15th of December 2015.Apart from this, the Art of Living organization had taken permission from 20 various organizations and competent authorities (Government Bodies)The entire list of the government bodies is elucidated below:Central Public Works DepartmentDelhi Development AuthorityDelhi Fire ServiceDelhi Jal BoardDelhi PoliceDelhi Pollution Control CommitteeDelhi Traffic PoliceDepartment of Irrigation and Flood ControlDistrict Disaster Management AuthorityEast Delhi Municipal CorporationIndian ArmyIrrigation DepartmentMinistry of Environment and ForestsMinistry of External AffairsMinistry of Home AffairsNew Okhla Industrial Development AuthorityPublic Works Department-DelhiPublic Works Department-UPSouth Delhi Municipal CorporationUttar Pradesh Government2. Claim 2: Alleging the presence of wetlands on the eventFacts:To understand this point, we need to first comprehend the difference between a wetland and a floodplain.According to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands ,signed in 1971 (Iran) wetlands are defined as: "areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six metres"(The Convention on Wetlands, called the Ramsar Convention, is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. Number of Contracting Parties: 169)There are currently 26 Ramar sites in India which are enlisted below:Ashtamudi Wetland,KeralaBhoj Wetland,Madhya ParadeshChandertal Wetland,Himachal PradeshChilika Lake,OrissaDeepor Beel,AssamEast Calcutta Wetlands,West BengalHarike Lake,PunjabHokera Wetland,Jammu and KashmirKanjili,PunjabKeoladeo National Park,RajasthanKolleru Lake,Andhra PradeshLoktak Lake,ManipurNalsarovar,GujaratPoint Calimere Wildlife and Bird Santuary,Tamil NaduPong Dam Lake,Himachal PradeshRenuka Wetland,Himachal PradeshRopar,PunjabRudrasagar Lake,West Tripura DistrictSambhar Lake,RajasthanSasthamkotta Lake,KeralaSurinsar-Mansar Lake,Jammu and KashmirTsomoriri,Jammu and KashmirUpper Ganga River,Uttar PradeshVembanad-Kol Wetland,KeralaWular Lake,Jammu and KashmirBhitarkanika Mangroves,OrissaSo, according to the Ramsar sites (India being a signatory of the Ramsar convention) , the World Culture Festival venue does not come under the wetland category.Wetlands come under Ecologically Sensitive Zones are are protected areas by the government.Now,let us analyse the land area with respect to the Survey of India (The Survey of India is India's central engineering agency in charge of mapping and surveying) mapsHere is the Annexure -1B Portion of 1:25000 Scale Detailed Map of Delhi, published by the Survey of India in the year 1985,Under the direction of Major General Girish Chandra Aggarwal, Surveyor General of India; Titled-’Delhi Guide Map,Third Edition 1985′The map clearly depicts the WCF 2016 event site as an extremely flat “Point Bar” (floodplain deposit) without existence of any wetland or enclosed waterbody. The flatness of this land parcel is to the extent that contour indicating difference in height of the order of 100cm is also non-existent throughout the area.Another important point for record in this map is the existence of natural path of ‘Kushak River – Barapullah Drain’ prior to straightening of its channel traversing straight into River Yamuna and filling of its original channel. The map also depicts the situation prior to construction of Guide Bank and DND Flyway.Looking at the National Wetland Atlas (Published in March 2011 by the Space Application Centre,ISRO,Ahmedabad),it fails to indentify a single wetland on the event site.According to the National Geographic Society, floodplains are defined as “A flood plain (or floodplain) is a generally flat area of land next to a river or stream. It stretches from the banks of the river to the outer edges of the valley”A Floodplain does not require jurisdictions of the environmental authorities that a wetland does.Floodplains have a rich history of interacting with the society for civilizations to flourish.The first great civilizations all grew up in river valleys. The oldest, 3300 to 2500 BCE, was along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in the Middle East; the name given to that civilization, Mesopotamia, means "land between the rivers". The Nile valley in Egypt had been home to agricultural settlements as early as 5500 BCE, but the growth of Egypt as a civilization began around 3100 BCE. A third civilization grew up along the Indus River around 2600 BCE, in parts of what are now India and Pakistan. The fourth great river civilization emerged around 1700 BCE along the Yellow River in China, also known as the Huang-He River Civilization.Many towns have been built across floodplains because of easy access to fresh water,the fertility of floodplain land for farming,cheap transportation, via rivers and railroads, which often followed rivers and ease of development of flat land.Large cultural and religious gatherings taking place on various floodplains across India like the Kumbh Mela and the Maramon Convention.The World Culture Festival venue was thus a floodplain and not a wetland as claimed by the Expert Committee of the NGT.3. Claim 3: Destroying the natural flow of the river YamunaFacts:A comparison of river morphology has been conducted on satellite images for the period between 22nd of December 2000 till 10th of May 2016.Fluvial Geo-morphology of the river (i.e. land form related to the river) and its floodplain (over which the event was organized) indicates continuity of a pattern in channel dimension, sedimentation,bank deposition,bank erosion and flow of the river.On a careful examinations of images between 26th August 2015(month of monsoon in Delhi) to 10th May 2016(Pre-Monsoon Dry Summer Season) no abnormality in the pattern of flow;channel dimension;riverbed;or morphology of both the banks has been noticed.Further,examination by ground verification in a series of field studies found no scientific acceptance of the above mentioned claim by the NGTHere are the satellite images taken that show the continuity of pattern of the river flow:Pic 1: 26th August 2015 (Post-monsoon)Pic 2: 29th October 2015 (Post-monsoon)Pic 3: 23rd November 2015 (Post-monsoon)Pic 4: 15th of December 2015 (Post-monsoon)Pic 5: 27th of February 2016 (Preparation for the event in progress;stage scaffoldings under construction)Pic 6: 15th of March 2016 (Post WCF, Pre-Monsoon)Pic 7: 25th of May 2016 (Depicting the entire area utilized by the World Culture Festival 2016,now evacuated,cleared and all the temporary installations removed)And as I write this answer now (13 th of May 2017, 15:39 hr), I have taken the snapshots from Google Earth of the venue and it is as it was before the event.The above images tell us that there is no change whatsoever in the natural river course of the Yamuna. This again proves the Expert Committee’s claims as false and unscientific.Selection Bias by the Expert Committee members?In the report,the expert committee have replied upon a singular satellite image for the event as opposed to a larger sample size covering pre-monsoon and post monsoon images for 15–20 years despite its availability to the public on Google Earth.The Expert Committee compared the satellite images of the venue dated 5th of Sept 2015 (Peak monsoon season) with that of a mid summer picture of March 2016, post the event (Summer pre-monsoon)It doesn’t take an Einstein to realize that such a comparison cannot be done in the first place.The Expert Committee is basically trying to attribute the negative effect of the lack of rain to the World Culture Festival !4. Claim 4: Destroying the reeds,grasses,natural vegetation on the river bed and the venueFacts:High pollution in the River Yamuna has led to a situation where dissolved oxygen tends to zero (often less than 1), high load of suspended particulate matter, high turbidity almost blocks the sunlight penetration in the water within few centimeters of vertical depth etc.All of the above factors collectively create a situation where no macro flora could grow or anchored within the riverbed of the Yamuna.Reeds and grasses could only grow beyond the riverbed in the riparian zone of the floodplain.The images of the last 15 years,indicate that the floodplain around the venue had some strips and patches of reeds. Those patches have been compared with the images after the event and on a comparison of images, no change in area covered by reeds has been observed.Riparian reeds along the Barapullah drain and small patches behind and in front of the guide bank (near the bridge of DND flyway) are unaltered before , during and the period post the event.Also the number of trees before and after the event were counted using high risk satellite images and they were found to be the same.Pic 1: Regrowth of grasses on over the location where once the stage was raised (17th of April 2016)Pic 2: State of grasses on the event venue (17th of April 2016)Pic 3: Undisturbed riparian reeds along the abandoned channel in front of the Guide Bank (17th of April 2016)Pic 4: Undisturbed riparian reeds along the Barapullah Drain (17th of April 2016)Also, another important to note that the Expert Committee of the NGT accused the Art of Living Foundation for bringing in and dumping the malba (construction debris) and flattening the malba thereby destroying the flood plain.Firstly, as shown by the satellite images of the land parcel furnished earlier, the purple area indicates the unsolicited construction debris that existed since the year 2000.Trucks were seen emptying tonnes of malba on a daily basis when the Art of Living began preparation for the event (circa December 2015)Once the land was allotted to the foundation, the Art of Living sent out a letter the the DDA citing these concerns about the existing construction dump.To which, the DDA didn’t remove the debris whereas told the Art of Living Foundation to remove the malba at its own cost !Here, is the invoice of the contractor ,who was given the duty to remove the debris from the venue site ,under the instructions the Art of Living Foundation (Cost borne by the Art of Living Foundation !)This is how the site appeared before the event:So, why did the NGT falsely accuse the foundation wherein no cementing/foundation work of any sort was undertaken for the event?5. Claim 5: Disturbed the aquatic life of the riverFacts:The river Yamuna (Delhi stretch) is nearly devoid of fish species due to extremely low level ( ~0) dissolved oxygen in the river water.Let us analyze the water quality of the river Yamuna first.Referring to the “Water Quality Status of Yamuna River” report by the Central Pollution and Control Board (erstwhile Ministry of Environment and Forests,Government of India),here is the longitudinal profile of the dissolved oxygen.(Report foreword by V. Rajagopalan, Chairman-CPCB)(Notice the graph points near Nizamuddin Bridge ,Agra Canal)The report goes out further to state that“ In Yamuna River low BOD and low DO was observed more oftenly may be due to consumption of oxygen by settled sludge in the riverbed.”(Ref 3.13, page No.42)Other key notations from the report are listed below:“The sources contributing pollution are both point & non-point type. Urban agglomeration at NCT – Delhi is the major contributor of pollution in the Yamuna River followed by Agra and Mathura. About 85% of the total pollution in the river is contributed by domestic sources. The condition of river deteriorate further due to abstraction of signNow amount of river water, leaving almost no fresh water in the river, which is essential to maintain the assimilation capacity of the river.”“In the critically, polluted stretch of Yamuna river from Delhi to Chambal confluence, there was signNow fluctuations in dissolved oxygen level from Nil to well above saturation level. This reflects presence of organic pollution load and persistence of eutrophic conditions in the river.”“Bacteriological contamination is signNowly high in the entire Yamuna River stretch. Total Coliforms are generally well above the prescribed water quality standard even sometimes at Yamunotri also. The microbiological analysis confirms that the bacteriological contamination was predominantly contributed by human beings.”Here are the longitudinal profiles of the Total and Faecal Coliforms in Yamuna River :Not to forget the drains opening up in the Delhi stretch.“Najafgarh drain of NCT – Delhi is the biggest polluter of River Yamuna, which contributes about 26% (year 2001) to 33% 22 (year 2000) of total BOD load and 48% (year 2003) to 52% (year 2001) of total discharge that joins Yamuna river and canal at Delhi by various drains. There are 70 sub drains that join main Najafgarh Drain. The study indicated that the total BOD load received by Najafgarh Drain through sub-drains was 136 TPD, whereas the BOD load at the terminal end of the Najafgarh Drain was 83 TPD only. This reduction may be contributed by biodegradation, deposition of setllable material at the bottom and diversion of drain water for irrigation etc”.“ River Yamuna receives signNowly high amount of organic matter, which is generally, originates from domestic sources. For biodegradation, this organic waste requires oxygen, causing signNow depletion of dissolved oxygen in river water. The oxygen depletion not only affects biotic community of the river but also affects its self-purification capacity. This problem is critical in the river stretch between Delhi and confluences of river with Chambal. In Delhi stretch, the load of organic matter is so high that it consumes the entire dissolved oxygen available in river water.”Presenting another latest report by the Central Pollution Control Board titled “Water quality status of in Delhi stretch of Yamuna River”Exhibit 1: Water quality of river Yamuna river in terms of Dissolved Oxygen (DO)The above graph clearly shows that the standard DO should be~4–5 whereas near the Nizamuddin bridge and Okhla region it below 1.Exhibit 2: Water quality of river Yamuna in terms of Total ColiformThe report also throws light on the discharge of various drains in the river Yamuna.“There are twenty one major wastewater drains in NCT-Delhi, out of which 18 drains join Yamuna River and rest joins Agra/Gurgaon canal.All the drains join Yamuna River downstream of Wazirabad barrage.These drains are being monitored regularly on monthly basis.The range of total BOD Load of 18 drains join Yamuna river was 105 TPD (August, 2015) to 229 TPD (January, 2016).Total discharge of these drains was varied from 29 m3/s (May, 2016 to 43 m3/s (August, 2014).The collective average of these drains for the year 2015 and 2016 in terms of discharge was about 34.8 m3/s and 34.3 m3/s respectively whereas, BOD load average for these two years was 164 Tons/day (TPD) and 178 Tons/day respectively.Based on the Discharge and BOD load of 18 drains Najafgarh drain was the biggest polluter of Yamuna River followed by Shahdara drain. These two drains alone contributes about 74% of total Bod load and 82% of total discharge of the 18 major drains that join Yamuna river at Delhi.”Exhibit 3: Discharge of major drains joins Yamuna River at DelhiLastly, I wish to produce a report titled “ Restoration and Conservation of River Yamuna” authored by the NGT Expert Committee members itself in the year 2012–13(Authors Prof. C.R.Babu, Prof.A.K.Gosain, Prof.Brij Gopal-All being expert members of the NGT)The report categorically states that“the loss of life supporting potential of the river is the major concern to the public, the Government and the courts”“the flowing water, the river bed, the floodplain forest and grassland ecosystems are locally extinct”Here is a snapshot of the same :The report also states that:“The Delhi urban stretch of 22 km in the downstream of Wazirabad barrage upto Okhla barrage (Section III) is critically polluted and dry weather flow is almost the treated and untreated sewage from 22 drains and the fresh water flow from upstream or lateral connection and it is perhaps one of the most polluted river stretches in the country with zero DO and over 30 mg/l BOD levels”Whereas, the same committee members in its final report slamming the Art of Living state the following:How could the World Culture Festival destroy something that according to the same committee members didn’t even exist in the first place.Why is the Art of Living blamed selectively for the pollution of the river Yamuna over the past decades?Isn’t this nothing but sheer hypocrisy?From the above data, following points to be noted:Yamuna river (Delhi stretch)is a dead river with almost zero dissolved oxygen, high amounts of pollutants and no fresh water. How can aquatic life survive under these chemically harsh conditions?The discharge of major drains in the Delhi stretch of the river along with industrial effluents and the pollution levels of Yamuna is alarming.Why does the NGT put the blame on the Art of Living Foundation which has done zero damage to the floodplains and the river?What has NGT done to curb the industrial and human pollution which are harming the river Yamuna?There is a strong judgmental bias in the current NGT report Vs the Art of Living and Others6. Claim 6: Alleging compaction and leveling of the floodplainFacts:Before going to analyse the charges of compaction, it is quintessential that we first define the nature of the land where the event was conducted.According to the report “Environmental flow for monsoon rivers in India-The Yamuna river as a case study”, the Yamuna floodplains has alluvial sandy soil (Reference: Rao, S.V.N., Kumar, S., Shekhar, S., Sinha, S.K. & Manju, S. 2007. Optimal pumping from Skimming Wells from the Yamuna river flood plain in north India. Hydrogeology Journal 15: 1157-1167)According to one of the Expert Committee member-Prof.A.K.Gosain’s earlier published research signNow titled- “A new scheme for large-scale natural water storage in the floodplains: the Delhi Yamuna floodplains as a case study”, the author says “the river has been bringing sand from the mountains and depositing it along its basin, forming the floodplains. This accumulated sandy layer exists to an average of depth of 40 m”The report earlier furnished in claim 5 by the expert committee members itself (Can be found here) states that the floodplain near the river Yamuna has “sand and gravel”.Hence, it is a well established fact that the floodplain has sandy soil ! So, can sandy soil be compacted ?Now,given the above data, let us go through some scientific studies about sand compaction and verify the allegations by the NGT.For a confirmatory statement on the extent and exact reason of consolidation and/ or compaction in qualitative and quantitative terms, laboratory test of undisturbed soil samples from the land parcel will be required.By comparing the current soil density with the previous records of soil density over the land parcel,the difference could be worked out.But conducting such a test of unconfined sand/sandy soil appears almost impossible due to the established principles of soil mechanics.Referring to the established principles of soil mechanics and geo-technical engineering from the widely accepted and used textbook for soil mechanics by Prof.V.N.S.Murthy tiled “A Text Book of Soil Mechanics & Foundation Engineering” let us go through the pressure-void ratio curves of sandIn the above curve, it is clearly evident that “ more than 90 % of the compression has taken place within a period of less than 2 minutes. The time lag is largely frictional. The compression is about the same whether the sand is dry or saturated”.“The amount of compression even under high load intensity is not quite signNow as can be seen from the curves.”It is obvious that the natural consolidation of this land parcel would have taken place in the geological past immediately after the deposition with some movement of animals and humans over it.It appears from the final report that the expert committee didn’t conduct any geo-technical analysis and not a single report was attached as an annexure to their claim.Verbally saying that they went there and saw the top soil layer become a thick crust is not evidence. There are tests that are legally permitted in the courts of law which the expert committee doesn’t seem to have done.The WCF area occupied ~ 25 hectares of land out of the total 9300 hectares of the floodplain (Approximately 0.26 %)So to exert the high pressure for land compaction it would require numerous heavy weight rollers (which apparently weren’t used by the organizers).Furthermore, the curve for dense sand in ‘Void ratio v/s pressure in kg/sq.cm’ indicates that dense sand (as deposited by the Yamuna and Ganga) does not show noticeable changes with increase in pressure.It is an undeniable fact that this land parcel has been under agricultural practices since decades (if not centuries).Agricultural practices; tilling (harrowing); movement of farms equipment and agricultural machinery; movement of dumpers for unabated dumping of construction waste for years and then the movement for trucks and dumpers for removal of the same has already shaped the consolidation and /or compaction of this land parcel ages before the event of the World Culture Festival 2016 was organized.Moreover, it is important to note that the entire stage for the event was supported by a series of iron scaffolding with raft footing (shown in the figure below)An Engineering Marvel ?Nothing was anchored in the natural stratum to hold the stage, overall the stage had a floating foundation. Can’t believe? have a look at this :Pics: The stage was made of thousands of such scaffolding rods in lattice structure spread across 7.5 acre (stage area)Pic: Scaffolding structure (showing the highest level) used for construction of the stage ; photographed during the removal of the stage.Pic: Steel plate rod used for distribution of the load, without any anchorage in the ground; photographed during the removal of the stage.The stage had negligible impact on the ground. Overall the stage was a floating stage and the impact of a floating stage on sandy soil is insignNow. For the record, no cement foundation was done as can be seen from the pictures.Trivia: The physics behind this stage bears a strong visual analogy with a yogi sleeping on a bed of nails. As a matter of fact, this ancient technique used by hathayogis in India has been a source of inspiration for the design of this stage !Pic: The concept of “Yogi Nail Bed” used as an inspiration for the WCF stage is based on the principle of uniform distribution of weight over a large surface area, therefore the overall impact is extremely low or negligible.Finally, the only court permissible test to determine compaction of soil is the CBR Test (California Bearing Ratio Test). It involves taking soil samples before and after the event and then applying the test. Since the expert committee did not collect any soil samples before and after the event to come up with the alleged 13 cr damage,the Art of Living Foundation themselves requested the NGT to conduct the CBR test at the venue, and the application was duly rejected !Here is the permission letter made by the Art of Living Foundation to the NGT (which was disposed off by the NGT !)The Chairman of the Expert Committee of the NGT Mrs.Shashi Shekhar (IAS) (Ministry of Water Resouces, Govt. of India)even goes out to the extent of saying the compensation of 120 cr put forth on the Art of Living foundation as ad-hoc and unscientific and not based on any scientific assessments. The Chairman does not even endorse the compensation.Also, it is important to see whether the NGT conducted any scientific studies before quantifying the damage if any ?It would be very astounding for the reader to realize that no such thing was done. Only a mere “visual inspection” was conducted by the Expert Committee members of the NGT at the venue on the 6th of June 2016(Singular visit).And no scientific evidence and data samples have been provided by the NGT Expert Committee in the Court of Law.That’s like going to a doctor who after just glancing at your direction hands you a list of ailments he assesses that you suffer from and proceeds to slap you with a fat bill for your future treatments !It is surprising to believe that the Chairman of the Expert Committee Mr.Shashi Shekhar has distanced himself from the committee’s recommendations. The Chairman’s signature is also missing from the final report. And only 4 out the 7 Expert Committee members have signed the final report !7. Claim 7: Going from ecological “restoration” to ecological “rehabilitation” of the floodplainFacts:Throughout the first report, the Expert Committee members of the NGT have used the term “restoration” and in the final report they use the word “rehablitation”Why the sudden switch?Because, the NGT Expert Committee cannot prove any damage that was done to the floodplain and the environment by the event.In their final report this is what they state:It is not possible for the ‘Expert Committee’ to assess the ecological status of the site before and after the event? This was their primary job in the first place !Also, the committee points out that it is extremely difficult to assess the costs of environment damage and degradation accurately because“it requires substantial time, human and other resources to collect detailed quantitative information on the nature, extend and magnitude of various activities listed earlier for restoration”That’s a clever way of saying that they cannot prove the damage quantitatively and qualitatively and hence the question of restoration is redundant.They also go on to state that “estimation of the costs of restoration requires the preparation of a Detailed Project Report that may take several months to a year besides financial resources.”Who can buy that argument? Why was the Expert Panel commissioned in the first place?Moreover, the Expert Committee states that it has now decided to “REHABILITATE THE IMPACTED SITE”.The NGT’s proposed plan includes creating a bio diversity park, two large water bodies, three tier planting of vegetation,and establishing new sewage treatment plants,etcLet’s put things into perspective, firstly, the Committee says that it cannot prove any damage scientifically. Consequently they cannot assign costs to restore damage. Hence, they wish to switch the narrative from being a “restoration cost” to “rehabilitation cost”. And moreover, they wish to build a utopian biodiversity park for which the Art of Living should bear the cost ! (Slow claps !) Wait, I am not yet done !In order to build this dream park, the Expert Committee has submitted a ‘Budget’ for building this park. The budget lists ‘Salaries and Consultancies’ as a cost component to monitor and supervise the construction. This cost component totals up to 7 CRORE RUPEES ! Here is their estimations !That’s not all friends. The NGT Expert Committee even goes on record to state that “rehabilitation” will take a period of 10 years and the expert committee members have nominated themselves to undertake this project as “Consultants”(Indeed a very sly way of pocketing the 7 crore!)In the final analysis,the expert committee members in their final report state that they are unable to differentiate the activities required to restore the floodplain and the activities to undo the alleged damage due to the event. That is a very clever way of saying that they cannot differentiate the damage done to the floodplain before the event and the damage done by the event.As this article says,“The Art of Living case will go down as a test for environment activism in the country. The nation expects the NGT will gather enough courage to call the bluff of the committee and go by the merits of the case”.References:http://delhi.gov.in/wps/wcm/conn...https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/pape...http://www.cpcb.nic.in/newitems/...Delhi Development AuthorityTextbook of Soil Mechanics and Foundation EngineeringGoogle Earth – Google EarthNational Green TribunalHomepage | Ramsarflood plainCentral Pollution Control Board :::https://www.artofliving.org/in-e...http://www.who.int/water_sanitat...Will NGT call the Yamuna expert panel's bluff?Written by:Soham D’SouzaBachelors in Chemical Technology-Institute of Chemical Technology (former UDCT) , MumbaiMumbai
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