January is generally the favourite month for filmmakers to venture into the Capital for shooting their films, however it doesn’t seem to be so this year. The cost of shooting in Delhi has gone up. New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has doubled their rates. Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) used to charge Rs 5000 per hour, this is proposed to go up to Rs 50,000 and for premium locations like Humayun’s Tomb and Qutub Minar this will increase to Rs 100,000 and police security has gone up by 300%. While a few big ticket films are still being shot, small films prefer to stay away from the city.
Line producer Shailendra Kaushik says the number of film shoots in Delhi has considerably decreased this year. “January is a very busy time for us, but no films are being shot right now. It has become very expensive and while films that star Salman and Aamir Khan won’t get affected, producers of smaller films are looking for other places to shoot,” he says.
Another line-producer Ravi Sarin adds, “ASI and NDMC have increased their rates to allow for film shoots. As of now, the only films planned for this year include Dangal, Sultan, Half Girlfriend, Sarabjit, Changez and a film starring Sridevi.”
Filmmaker Omung Kumar, who will be shooting in Delhi for his biopic Sarabjit, says that as his story has scenes which are based in Delhi, he doesn’t have an option. “There are people who have been telling me about how the fee to shoot in Delhi has increased and about how it will cost me a lot. I am yet to negotiate on the prices. But I have to shoot in Delhi as part of the story is based there. We will be shooting at India Gate, Red Fort and outside the PM’s office,” he says.
Producer Boney Kapoor, who’ll also be shooting in Delhi, says that while he will be in a better position to talk of the increase in expenses after shooting, he has been expecting high rates. “Delhi’s more than just NDMC and ASI, there are other places to shoot as well,” he says.