"One truck of garbage is being sold to the contractors"
An Indian wedding ceremony organised by the high-profile Gupta family left around 22 tonnes of rubbish behind.
The wedding was held in Uttarakhand’s Auli in June 2019 and was reported to have cost Rs. 200 Crore (£23 million).
However, the grand wedding celebrations left Uttarakhand’s Joshimath Municipality with an uphill task of clearing up the mess left at the alpine region.
Over 22 tonnes of rubbish had been collected from the wedding site. Government officials stated that seven to eight trucks were hired specifically for that purpose.
Executive Officer SP Nautiyal said the rubbish was transported to private contractors. He said:
“One truck of garbage is being sold to the contractors for Rs. 50,000 (£590) – Rs. 70,000 (£820) depending upon the type of waste.”
Prior to the wedding, a local resident filed a petition claiming that the preparations were damaging the environment.
The Gupta family was asked to pay Rs. 3 Crore (£350,000) as security money should there be any environmental damage.
The court stated that action would be taken against the Gupta brothers if they did not pay the money, but they did.
The court also issued an order that called for the “prohibition of the use of plastic, thermocol, bags, glasses, plates, cups, saucers”.
Following the High Court order, 13 officials monitored the wedding functions to see if High Court directions were followed.
Shailendra Singh Panwar, the chairman of the Nagar Palika Parishad of Auli, explained that most of the rubbish in Joshimath came from the wedding.
He also said that the daily amount of waste collected has more than doubled since the wedding.
Panwar explained that the family had paid a user charge fee. Once the cleaning has fully completed, a bill will be sent to them.
He added: “The family has agreed to pay the entire bill and also provide a vehicle to the municipality.”
Anil Kumar explained that his team of 20 men have to deal with the litter.
A worker at the Indian wedding said that there was “so much plastic” at the venue. A lot of the items came from other cities in plastic wrapping.
The worker said:
“The wind makes it harder to control the plastic, it keeps flying away. It’s distressing.”
Many of the locals are concerned about their animals eating the plastic. One resident stated:
“My cows graze in the area, they will eat that plastic now like city cows.”
Many 0f the guests arrived at the venue by car as the court banned helicopters from landing in Auli.
Around 150 guests were invited to the wedding and a lot of high-profile stars performed at the wedding.
This included actress Katrina Kaif and musician Badshah.