The Tripura government has agreed to repair a road near Dipa Karmakar's house in Agartala, a week after the gymnast said that she was returning the BMW car that she had received as a gift for her performance at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
A public works department chief engineer in Tripura told the Hindustan Times that the road near Karmakar's house was among those selected for renovation.
The luxury car was presented to Karmakar by BMW's brand ambassador Sachin Tendulkar, but had actually been gifted by the Hyderabad Badminton Association president V. Chamundeshwarnath. However, last week her family and coach had said that they would return it as they were finding it difficult to drive and maintain the car due to Agartala's narrow roads and the absence of a BMW service centre in the city. Instead, they had requested the association to transfer an amount equal to the car's value so that they could buy a more suitable vehicle.
The news reports led to a minor political controversy, with the state government criticising Karmakar's statement, and opposition parties supporting her and blaming the authorities for the state's poor roads. "The people of Tripura know the condition of the roads here and they will give a fitting reply to Dipa and her family. If somebody makes ugly statements against her own state, what can we do?" Tripura's Urban Development And Transport minister Manik Dey had said.
As a result, Karmakar's father Dulal was forced to clarify the family's position on the matter. "We admit that these challenges existed even when Dipa accepted the gift. However, when we started searching for a workshop and spares, we realized the extent of the problem," he told The Times of India."This is not an attempt to disrespect any individual or organization. It is also not intended to undermine the Tripura government. I request people to refrain from reading between the lines."