High Court seeks report on damage to environment

Dehradun, July 18

The Uttarakhand High Court has sought a detailed report from the state government and the state pollution control board on the damage caused to the environment by the Gupta family weddings at the famous ski resort of Auli in Chamoli district. The Gupta family weddings took place in Auli last month leaving behind hundreds of tonnes of garbage at the pristine resort, besides causing contamination of the water bodies, including the Dhauli Ganga.

The weddings were a grand affair with a large number of VVIPs, including Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, yoga guru Ramdev and state BJP president Ajay Bhatt, attending the four-day event.

Hearing a petition on Wednesday, Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice Alok Kumar Verma asked the state government, the Uttarakhand Pollution Control Board and the Chamoli District Magistrate to furnish a report within 10 days explaining whether or not pollution control norms were followed by the hosts and how tonnes of garbage left behind at the pristine resort was cleared.

The court wanted to know whether bio-degradable and non-bio-degradable garbage was disposed of separately by the authorities and its adverse impact on Dhauli Ganga and other waterbodies. In a report submitted by the state pollution control board before the court, it was said that 320 tonnes of garbage had to be cleared after the conclusion of the event. It said around 200 labourers stayed at the resort during the four-day event who had no choice, but to defecate in the open in the absence of toilets meant for them. Human waste later had flown with rain water into the Dhauli Ganga.

Asking the pollution control board to examine the level of pollution in Dhauli Ganga, the court said it should be specified what amount should be demanded from the organisers as compensation for the level of environmental pollution caused by the event.— PTI

Big fat Auli weddings

The South Africa-based business family held the weddings of their sons in Auli last month. Ajay Gupta’s son Suryakant’s wedding took place on June 19-20, whereas Atul Gupta’s son Shashank’s wedding was held on June 21-22. 

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