Amid environmental concerns over the Auli wedding extravaganza of the controversial NRI Gupta brothers' two sons, the Uttarakhand High Court on Tuesday allowed the event on condition of a Rs 1.5 crore security deposit for compensating any damage at the pristine ski resort.
Disposing a PIL filed by Rakshit Joshi, a Kumaon-based advocate, the High Court said the first instalment of Rs 1.5 crore can be deposited within two-three days.
The court also asked the Chamoli district authorities and the state Pollution Control Board to monitor the wedding. The second instalment of Rs 1.5 crore can be deposited at a later date if required, the court said.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat strongly defended the location of the wedding at the ski resort.
During the investors summit last year, the Chief Minister said the state government had itself called for developing wedding destinations in the hill state.
"The environmental issues concerning Auli are not justifiable as it is not an alpine meadow," he said. Auli is simply a tourist place where there are hotels of the Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN) and others, he said.
"This should be seen as an investment opportunity and as an exercise to promote Uttarakhand as a wedding destination," Rawat said.
Meanwhile, the Gupta brothers have promised to deposit Rs 28 lakh with the local authorities for cleaning up Auli after the marriage, official sources said.
Auli, the famous ski resort in the Garhwal region, is all set to witness the posh wedding ceremonies of two sons of the Gupta brothers, the controversial NRIs from South Africa.
The estimated cost of the two marriages is pegged at Rs 200 crore, said local media reports quoting officials who are closely monitoring the arrangements.
Ajay Gupta's son Suryakant will get married on June 19-20 while Atul Gupta's son Shashank will take the 'lavan-phere' (the sacred marriage ceremony) on June 21-22.
Some Bollywood stars are also expected to join the ceremonies at Auli. Almost all hotels and resorts in the resort have already been booked.
On Monday, the Uttarakhand High Court was highly critical of the environmental issues related to the wedding ceremony and disallowed any helicopters and construction of a new helipad.
The court also asked the state government to ensure that no environmental damage occurs due to the wedding.
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