After the five-day wedding extravaganza of the controversial Gupta family from June 17-23 in Uttarakhand’s Auli, the Joshimath municipality has fined them Rs 2.5 lakh. A senior Chamoli district official told The Indian Express, “On June 22, we issued a challan of Rs 1 lakh to the Gupta family for littering in Auli; and Rs 1.5 lakh for open defecation.”
A Joshimath municipality official said that “the hotel where the wedding took place was also fined Rs 25,000”.
The official said that the Gupta family has responded to the Rs 2.5 lakh challan, which will be a part of the report to be submitted in the Uttarakhand High Court in July, where a petition was filed against the two weddings being held in Auli. The HC had slammed the Uttarakhand government for allowing the events to take place at the ecologically fragile hill.
From June 17-23, Suryakant and Shashank, who are members of the controversial Gupta family of South Africa – known for their dubious links to that country’s former president, Jacob Zuma, and who are facing corruption charges – got married in Auli.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and yoga guru Ramdev attended the wedding, while actors Katrina Kaif and Sidharth Malhotra performed at the event, which is estimated to have cost Rs 200 crore.
The HC ordered the Guptas to deposit Rs 3 crore to the District Magistrate of Chamoli for restoration after the event. On June 23, The Indian Express reported that the daily dry and wet waste collected from across Joshimath had gone up to 40 quintal instead of the standard 20 quintal. Chamoli DM Swati Bhadoriya formed a 13 member team comprising members of departments such as the Uttarakhand Pollution Control Board, the PWD, the Joshimath municipality, among others.