190801 Karan Johar
Karan Johar Image Credit: IANS

Bollywood director and producer Karan Johar came under fire this week for allegedly littering the roads of a Goa village Nerul, 10km from the capital city of Panaji, after they filmed their Deepika Padukone-led movie.

Lokhancho Ekvott Goa, a social movement to save the villages and heritage of Goa, has demanded a written apology from Johar and his company Dharma Productions and has threatened action. They have accused Dharma Productions of breaking rules and disturbing their ecosystem after locals pointed out the garbage and unsegregated waste dumped by his company.

According to a release, the local line producer Dilip Borkar — who was assisting Johar’s production house in filming in Goa — was warned about the waste left behind by Johar’s production team. The activists have accused Johar and his team of not disposing personal protective equipment (PPE) that were used during filming by their crew earlier this month.

Social media was also inundated with images of the hamlet covered in waste. The matter has also angered local politicians. Health minister Vishwajit Rane of Goa said his ministry shouldn’t be held responsible for the incident and the authorities that gave permission for the film shoot ought to be held responsible. Disposing PPEs without proper gear is a safety hazard for cleaners.

“It is not right to dump waste in the open. When permission was given for the film shoot, conditions ought to have been added in guidelines that the entity will dispose of the waste,” Rane said.

The activist group LEG has also given Johar 48 hours to apologise to them.

“The Lokhancho Ekvott will courier parcels of garbage to Karan Johar’s house and the Dharma Productions office in Mumbai,” said Flynn Remedios, adding that the company could have spent a little more to keep an age-old, traditional Goan village clean.

“Would the firm dare dump piles of garbage at Juhu or Lokhandwala or Versova in Mumbai? There would have been a hue and cry immediately,” said Remedios.

“Dumping of garbage by the roadside is a crime and is prohibited by local laws in Goa. Corporates and hotels as well as individual households are required to segregate wet and dry garbage and bio medical waste has to be packed in specially labelled bags. However, Dharma Productions packed all the luggage together with scant respect for the environment and dumped it by the picturesque roadside, where animals vandalised it making the situation worse,” he explained.

Johar and his team are yet to respond to these allegations.