Asaram Bapu plays Holi with drinking water, fuels row in water-starved Maha
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THE Nagpur Municipal Corporation on Monday directed the Asaram Bapu Trust to pay Rs 9,367 for seeking drinking water but using it for "some other" purposes.
A legal action is also being contemplated for alleged misuse of water.
"They (the trust) approached us with a request that hundreds of Asaram Bapu devotees are congregating for a discourse and demanded water. We provided them with 40,000 litres. But we found out that the water was used on Sunday for some other purpose. So, we have directed them to pay Rs 9,367, as per commercial rate," Municipal Commissioner Shayam Wardhane told The Indian Express.
Earlier, the water was made available to them for Rs 3,167. Spiritual guru Asaram Bapu plays Holi every year in the city along with his followers, during which he sprays coloured water on them. The water provided by the Municipal Corporation was reportedly found to have been used in the Holi programme on Sunday.
"We are also contemplating legal action and discussing with lawyers what action can be taken against the trust," Wardhane added.
Asked if the trust seeks water for drinking purpose every year and then uses it for Holi, Wardhane said: "I can't say it immediately. I will have to check records."
Trust's Nagpur unit chief Parmanand Khushlani told The Indian Express: "It's not true that we used the drinking water for Holi. We used water from Ashram well for the purpose. But if anybody wants to claim so, we can't hold anybody's tongue."
"Bapu played Holi for only 15 minutes. There were over 50,000 devotees. Won't they need drinking water?" Khushlani asked.
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