Gupta brothers’ wedding planners fined for littering, defecating in ‘environmentally sensitive area’

Gupta brothers’ wedding planners fined for littering, defecating in ‘environmentally sensitive area’

Ajay and Atul Gupta. File photo

Wedding planners hired by the family have been fined for open defecation and littering following the opulent celebrations at a scenic Himalayan resort.

Following calls by various environmental interest groups in India for the Indian government to deny the Gupta family permission to host a family wedding at a luxury ski resort in the country, the wedding planners have been fined for open defecation and littering.

Citing environmental concerns, political parties and activists in the country criticised the Indian government for granting them permission to host the event before it took place.

Prior to the event, the family had reportedly offered to pay for the clean-up after the wedding in addition to paying a large deposit to the local municipality.

The three brothers had hired wedding planning firm E-Factors to organise their sons’ lavish nuptials last month at Auli, a pristine ski resort ringed by the Nanda Devi mountain range in northern Uttarakhand state.

The family recently hosted family, celebrities, and politicians for two weddings – the weddings of Ajay Gupta’s son, Suryakant, and Atul Gupta’s son, Shashank.

Photos showing the picturesque venue littered with rotting flowers, food and other garbage after the festivities made their way on to the Internet, sparking outrage.

“For defecating in the open we have imposed a fine of 100,000 (R20,500) rupees and another 150,000 (R30,700) rupees penalty has been levied for scattering garbage,” said an executive officer at the Joshimath municipality, Satyapal Nautiyal.

This fine was imposed on the wedding planning company, for it was their employees that defecated in the open area.

The Times of India on Monday quoted a local official as saying that temporary toilets had been set up for hundreds of guests, but no such facilities were built to accommodate the workers.

The hotel where the weddings took place has also been fined 25,000 rupees ($362) for “keeping sewage lines open”.

Reports from various Indian publications state that the event produced more than 30 tonnes of waste which were cleared up on a daily basis by trucks in the days following the event.

“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 wealthy Indian migrant family, who left South Africa in 2017, is being investigated over a web of murky deals involving government officials and state-owned entities during former president Jacob Zuma’s nine-year reign.

(Additional reporting by AFP)  

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