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Gupta brothers deposit Rs 54,000 as clean-up cost after lavish Auli weddings; 150 quintal waste removed so far

FE Online

After hosting two weddings in Uttarakhand’s ecologically-sensitive hill town of Auli, South-Africa based Gupta family has deposited a user charge of Rs 54,000 with the municipal corporation for cleaning up the waste left behind after the lavish Rs 200-crore celebrations. The family has also agreed to bear the entire cost of cleaning and restoring the region, which is now battling a mountain of garbage and plastic.

“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 also provide a vehicle to the civic body,” municipality president Shailendra Panwar told news agency ANI.

The celebrations have produced over 40 quintals of waste daily and the municipal corporation has had to deploy 20 workers to clear the area. The waste includes plastic bags, leftover petals, foam and food.

Two-high profile weddings were held in the hill town in Uttarakhand from June 18 to June 22. The weddings were of Suryakant and Shashank Gupta, who are the sons of Ajay Gupta and Atul Gupta respectively.

The Gupta brothers had gone all out for the weddings of their sons. Actors Katrina Kaif and Sidharth Malhotra were present at the event, which also saw performances by singers such as Badshah, Shruti Pathak, Kailesh Kher and Aastha Gill. Yoga guru Ramdev also conducted a two-hour yoga session for the wedding guests.

On June 17, the Uttarakhand High Court had come down heavily on the state government for allowing the weddings in the ecologically fragile region. A public interest litigation had also been filed stating the extensive wedding preparations were damaging the environment. The court had asked the Gupta brothers to deposit Rs 3 crore as security money for restoration in case of damage to the environment.

The controversial Gupta family is based in South Africa and is known for its proximity to the country s former president Jacob Zuma. Zuma resigned as the President of South Africa on February 15 over corruption scandals. The Gupta brothers have often been accused of using their political influence in South Africa to advance their business interests, but they have denied any wrongdoing.