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Bad Roads: Dipa Karmakar to return BMW

Hyderabad: Gymnast Dipa Karmakar on Wednesday revealed that she was planning to return the BMW that was gifted to her after her stupendous performance in the Olympics.

Karmakar was gifted the vehicle at a function in Hyderabad organised by the Hyderabad Badminton Association.

According to media reports, the decision to return the car was taken jointly by Karmakar’s family and her coach, as maintaining it would be a challenge for them, considering there are no service centres in Tripura. Moreover, the poor condition of roads in the state also made the Indian gymnast sceptical about the BMW’s suitability to ply on the hilly and narrow lanes of the region.

“Roads in Tripura are not good enough to drive such a vehicle. There are no capable drivers in Agartala to drive a BMW and the company has no showroom or service centre in the state,” Dulal Karmakar, Dipa’s father told Hindustan Times.

The association has reportedly accepted the athlete’s request and is hoping that the monetary equivalent of the cost of the car, which has been transferred to her account, will help her get another car better suited to Tripura’s roads. A new BMW XI cost costs anything between Rs 30 and Rs 35 lakh.

The association President Chamundeswarinath, who presented the luxury car which Dipa Karmakar wants to return, on Wednesday said he will have a word with the gymnast on the difficulties she is facing in handling the vehicle. “We will discuss with her. Whatever Dipa is comfortable with, we will look into it; if not BMW car,” Chamundeswarinath told PTI.

Karmakar had indicated about difficulties in the maintenance of a BMW car, which was handed over to her by cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar.

“The idea of gifting cars to the sportspersons was to encourage them to do better,” he said. Rio Olympics medallists P V Sindhu, Sakshi Malik and Karmakar, who narrowly missed out on a medal, were gifted with luxury cars by Chamundeswarinath for their achievements in the Rio Olympics.

Tendulkar, who was the Goodwill Ambassador of the Indian team at Rio Olympics, handed over the keys of the vehicles to them at a function held at the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy here on August 28.

Karmakar had finished fourth in the vault category at the 2016 Rio Olympics, marking a new beginning for India in the world of global gymnastics.