Post two weddings, Auli in Uttarakhand is struggling to deal with the copious amounts of waste left behind.
The town hosted two weddings of the controversial Gupta family from 18-22 June, which amounted to Rs 200 crore, the Indian Express reported.
The weddings of Ajay Gupta’s sons Suryakant and Shashank has left the local municipal corporation cleaning out nearly 40 quintals of garbage every day since the weddings, Express said.
“Usually, dry and wet waste collected daily from all of Joshimath amounts to 20 quintal. Since the weddings, it’s crossed 40 quintal daily. Most of it is from the wedding venue,” Nagar Palika Parishad chairman Shailendra Singh Pawar told the daily.
“The wedding has created a waste problem in the hill station,” a member of the team tasked with dealing with the waste told ANI.
The India-born Gupta family is based in South Africa and is known for its corrupt links to former president Jacob Zuma.
Pawar told ANI on Tuesday that the family had deposited Rs. 54,000 as user charge and agreed to pay the entire cleaning bill.
“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 also provide a vehicle to the civic body,” Pawar told the news agency.
While the wedding events were attended by celebrities like Katrina Kaif, rapper Badshah, and singers Kailash Kher, Abhijeet Sawant and Javed Ali, also seen participating were Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, state BJP president and Nainital MP Ajay Bhatt and Baba Ramdev, according to Economic Times.
The chief minister, in fact, thanked the Guptas for choosing Auli as the wedding venue and said it would boost tourism, ET reported.
Last week, the Uttarakhand High Court had rapped the state government for allowing the extravagant events to take place in an area so ecologically fragile. The court had ordered the “prohibition of use of plastic, thermocol bags, glasses, plates, cups, saucers”.
“There’s so much plastic here, all the food and other goods that have come from Delhi or around have come wrapped in plastic sheets. The wind makes it harder to control the plastic… it keeps flying away. It’s distressing,” a worker at the wedding told Express.
In 2013, the Guptas had landed a family plane carrying wedding guests at the military base Waterkloof Air Base near Pretoria in South Africa.
South Africa is investigating the family for corrupt dealings to advances its business interests in the country. The Guptas fled to Dubai in April 2016 after allegations of corruption surfaced against them.