Gupta brothers fined for littering, 'defecating in the open' after sons' weddings

01 July 2019 - 10:28 By TimesLIVE
Brothers Ajay and Atul Gupta.
Brothers Ajay and Atul Gupta.

Gupta brothers Ajay and Atul have been fined for littering after the lavish weddings of their sons generated about 32 tons of garbage at a ski resort in an environmentally sensitive area in India.

A fine of Rs 1.5 lakh (about R30,700) was imposed on the Guptas for "scattering garbage" and an additional fine of Rs 1 lakh (about R20,500) was imposed for "defecating in the open", according to Satyapal Nautiyal, executive officer at the Joshimath municipality, The Economic Times reported on Monday.

The weddings of Ajay Gupta’s son, Suryakant, and Atul Gupta’s son, Shashank, took place between June 18 and 22 at the luxury Auli ski resort in Uttarakhand. The event was attended by celebrities and politicians.

A massive clean-up operation saw trucks carting away more than 30 tons of waste.

"Auli is totally clean now. More than 300 quintals (30 tons) of waste have been cleaned. There were some troubles, but we managed to clean the area," Anil Kumar, from the Joshimath Municipal Corporation, told The New Indian Express.

The Gupta family had undertaken to pay for the clean-up after the extravaganza and had paid a substantial deposit to the local municipality, the publication reported on Monday.

The Uttarakhand High Court had instructed the local pollution control board to submit a report by July 7 on the harm caused to the environment due to the waste.

Political parties and activists criticised the Indian government for permitting a wedding extravaganza at a ski resort, citing environmental concerns and plans to fly in scores of guests by chartered helicopters.

The Times of India reported earlier that Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said the environmental concerns were "unnecessary" and believed the wedding would promote the state as a wedding destination.