The single-window system to give quick permission for shooting films in Uttarakhand has not been effectively implemented, according to a section of filmmakers.
They alleged that the system, part of the state government’s Film Policy-2015, was not effective as the shooting units faced “searing troubles” even after receiving the permission.
After launching the policy, the government decided to give permission from a single platform within a week from the date of receiving applications.
However, Pradeep Bhandari, director of Mussoorie-based P B Film’s Productions, wrote to chief minister Harish Rawat, bringing to his notice the troubles faced by his team while shooting a Garhwali film ‘Hello UK’ at Mussoorie in April this year.
Bhandari told Hindustan Times that although he had a valid permit, his team was not allowed to shoot at a designated venue at Mussoorie.
As the team had already arrived and hotel bookings were made, it suffered a loss of around `5 lakh, he added.
The unit also did not receive police support as mentioned in the permit, said Bhandari, adding that “I’ve written to the chief minister about it, and I’m planning to initiate legal action.”
Bhandari, the former president of Uttarakhand Film Television and Radio Association, said he wrote to the information and public relations department in May, demanding compensation for the loss and action against the departments concerned.
Bhandari said the state government should deal with such “practical difficulties” which were diluting the efficacy of the single-window system.
Another film director who did not wish to be named said, “We were asked to pay `1 lakh a day for shooting in a forest area, despite having received the permit, so we decided to discard the plan.”
K S Chauhan, nodal officer of the information and public relations department for film permissions, said, “We are making all efforts to do away with the troubles, if any, being faced by filmmakers.”
“In most cases, the permissions have been given swiftly and shoots have taken place without any trouble. We will soon hold a meeting with the forest department to discuss the fee issue. Other issues, too, will be sorted out,” Chauhan said.
He further said after the launch of the film policy, 30 permits, including 18 in this year, were issued.
Some films, shot in the state after the launch of the policy, included Ajay Devgn’s Shivaay, actor Dia Mirza’s travel show Ganga: The Soul of India, actor Himani Shivpuri-starrer Kumaoni film Gopi Bhina, Garhwali film Bhuli Ae Bhuli, children’s film Pinti Ka Sabun and TV show Saavdhan India.