After the Ambani wedding extravaganza, the high-profile weddings of the controversial Gupta family were a sight to behold. Ajay and Atul Gupta married daughters of two hotshot business tycoons in picturesque Auli, Uttarakhand. However, the lavish celebrations cost more than just money. The two grand weddings turned Auli into a dumpyard and the civic body is now struggling to clean all the waste left behind by the guests. We are talking over 220 quintal (22,000 kilograms) of waste here!
So, what went on at this mega wedding extravaganza? Various celebrities, including Katrina Kaif, rapper Raftar and Baba Ramdev, were part of these big fat Indian weddings.
The weddings made a splash not just because they were star-studded, but also because they cost the Gupta family a whopping sum of Rs 200 crores. Ramdev conducted a two-hour yoga session at the wedding. Choppers were hired to ferry the guests. Almost all the hotels and resorts were completely booked out and flowers were imported from Switzerland for the grand celebrations.
However after the wedding, Uttarakhand's Joshimath Municipality is facing the daunting task of clearing quintals of garbage. The waste had been collected from the wedding site, with the Municipality using in 7-8 trucks for the purpose. The officials said they would be able to completely clean the site by June 30.
“The wedding has created a waste problem in the hill station. The garbage has surpassed 40 quintals (4,000 kilograms),” said one of the team members of the Nagar Palika Parishad of Joshimath.
However, Joshimath Municipality Chairman Shailendra Pawar told a leading daily that the Gupta family has agreed to bear more than just the astronomical bill of the celebrations. They consented to pay Rs 54,000 (plus other overhead costs) to the civic body for cleaning up the mountain of garbage that piled up after the weddings. The family wants to resolve all the waste management problems in the town of Auli.
According to Shailendra, “The Gupta family had deposited Rs 54,000 as user charge. Over 150 quintal waste has been cleaned up till now. After the cleaning work is complete the total bill of all the expenses, including manual labour and vehicles, will be sent to them. The family has agreed to pay the entire bill and toalso provide a vehicle to the civic body."
The municipal corporation has allocated 20 workers to clear the waste lying around in the area. The High Court has instructed the district administration and Pollution Control Board to submit a report by July 7 on the harm caused to the environment due to the waste. The next hearing in the matter is on July 8. Earlier, a public interest litigation was also filed with the same concern, stating the extensive wedding preparations were damaging the environment.
Talking about this 200-crore wedding happening in Uttarakhand, Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said, "We intend to make Uttarakhand a niche marriage destination. The place where the event is taking place is not an alpine meadow area, therefore, the controversy is unnecessary. This should be seen as an investment opportunity and as an exercise to promote Uttarakhand as a wedding destination."
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