The Tripura government has decided to repair a road near Dipa Karmakar's home after the ace gymnast said she wants to return the BMW car presented to her following her performance at 2016 Rio Olympics.
The road near Karmakar's home was chosen for restoration and repair after she decided to return the luxury car, citing poor facilities in the city and lack of a service centre, according to a report in The Hindustan Times
The gymnast was presented with a BMW car by Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, for her stellar performance at the Rio Games, along with along with PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik. However, due to the difficulties in maintenance, Karmakar said that she wants to return the luxury car to its original owner, the president of the Hyderabad Badminton Association (HBA), V Chamundeswaranath. Karmakar said that she will be happy to accept cash instead of the gift to procure a vehicle that was locally operable.
"There is no showroom or service centre of BMW car in Tripura. If the car developed any technical snag during driving, how would I repair this? There are also not sufficient suitable roads in Agartala and other places of the mountainous state to ply the luxury car," Dipa told IANS.
Karmakar, who hails from the state capital of Agartala, said she did not take the decision solely by herself, and the issue was decided collectively by her coach, parents and other family members.
Her coach Bishewar Nandi, who was awarded with the prestigious Dronacharya Award this year, said that the decision to return the car was taken by both him and the gymnast's family.
"There are two main reasons behind it. First, there is no BMW service center in Agartala and secondly, the roads are not suitable to drive a posh car such as this," he was quoted as saying in a report.
Nandi also added that they have also talked to the HBA regarding the problems they are facing and the federation have agreed to take the gift back.
"We have spoken to the concerned authority and gladly, they have no problems with it. It was also suggested to them that if possible, they transfer the amount equivalent to the value of the car to Dipa's bank account. And if not, we will be happy with whatever amount they decide," the report said.
The 23-year-old Tripura girl, who became the first Indian woman gymnast to qualify for the Olympics, finished fourth in the final round of the women's vault event at the Rio Games. She scored 15.066 points, a mere 0.150 less than eventual bronze medallist Giulia Steingruber (15.216) of Switzerland, and missed out on a podium finish by a whisker.
In August, while Sindhu and Gopi received BMW 320 Ds that cost around Rs.40 lakh each, Malik and Karmakar received compact cross-over BMW X1s priced at around Rs.30 lakh each. Cricket legend and India's goodwill ambassador at the Rio Olympics, Sachin Tendulkar, handed over the keys of the cars, made by German automaker BMW Group.