In a hasty move, the UT administration removed the nodal officer of its Bollywood Facilitation Centre, raising question mark on the future of the cell, which was set up for promoting the city as a destination for cinematic tourism.
The timing of the decision has come as a surprise, as the orders were passed on January 18 and no official was named as replacement for the post of nodal officer.
Without specifying the reasons, director hospitality Tilak Raj said Vijay Kumar, nodal officer of the cell, has been repatriated to his home department - hospitality. He further said they were contemplating to shift the cell to some other location in the city from the UT guest house. Despite repeated attempts, UT home secretary Anil Kumar was not available for comment.
The decision of the authorities has come as a surprise, as the city has become a preferred destination for filmmakers not only from across the country, but also aboard. In recent years, top producers and directors have descended upon the city for shooting of their films.
In a bid to encourage and facilitate film and TV serial makers to shoot in the city, the UT administration had set up Bollywood Facilitation Cell in 2004. The cell acted as a single window, which helped the filmmakers in getting permission for shooting at different locations in the city and security for the artists and crew with the help of the Chandigarh police.
The facilitation cell also helped the filmmakers in spotting shooting locations, both indoor and outdoor, as per their requirements. Besides, the cell assisted them in boarding and lodging, transport, local artist, equipment and other arrangement for the shooting.
If the authorities fail to appoint a nodal officer, the filmmakers will have to make their own arrangements and will be required to take all permissions from different departments, including the police causing them inconvenience.
Unhappy with the decision, senior officials of the administration said the cell was a success as it made things easier for the filmmakers.
"Chandigarh as city has gained a lot as internationally renowned filmmakers come here for shooting their films," said the officials, who that the decision will lead to a dip in the number of producers and directors coming to the city for shooting their films.