Auli wedding: HC seeks detailed report on environmental damage

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Auli wedding: HC seeks detailed report on environmental damage

Thursday, 18 July 2019 | PNS | Nainital

Not satisfied with the report submitted by the Uttarakhand Environment Protection and Pollution Control Board (UEPPCB) regarding the extravagant marriage event held by South African businessmen brothers Ajay and Atul Gupta at Auli last month, the High Court has directed the UEPPCB, Chamoli district magistrate and State Government to submit a detailed report within 10 days. The UEPPCB member secretary submitted the report to the division bench of chief justie Ramesh Ranganathan and justice Alok Kumar Verma on Wednesday.

The report states that there was no toilet and other facilities for 200 labourers who were at Auli before and after the marriage. There was rain during the programme which washed away the waste generated by labourers into the Dhauli Ganga river. The report also states that items made from polythene were used in the event apart from which JCBs were used for cleaning and other works. The court has asked the board as to how the garbage generated at the event was disposed of and whether organic and non-biodegradable waste was segregated. The board was also asked about the damage caused by the marriage function to Dhauli Ganga and other sources of water nearby. The court has directed the board to again check the environmental damage caused by the event and send the cleaning bill to the Chamoli district magistrate.

Further, on the request of the petitioner Rakshit Joshi, to make Forest Research Institute of India, Wadia Instittue of Himalayan Geology, Geological Survey of India and Nehru Institute of Mountaineering parties in the case, the court has asked these institutions to state whether Auli is a Bugyal (high altitude alpine meadow) and how much environmental damage has been caused by the event. It will be recalled that Joshi had filed a PIL in the high court before the wedding stating that the event would cause major environmental damage at the winter sports destination of Auli. The petitioner had also pointed out that the event was a violation of earlier court orders banning night stays in Bugyals.

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