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50% relaxation in tariff for film units at Uttarakahd’s govt resthouses

With an eye on promoting film shoots in the hill state, the Uttarakhand government has decided to give 50% relaxation to film units in room tariffs of tourism department-run rest houses

dehradun Updated: Jul 24, 2017 20:40 IST
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand News,film tourism,resthouses
There are over 130 tourist resthouses and bungalows across the state.(HT File)

With an eye on promoting film shoots in the hill state, the Uttarakhand government has decided to give 50% relaxation to film units in room tariffs of tourism department-run resthouses.

R Meenakshi Sundaram, CEO of the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board (UTDB), issued a letter to the Garhwal and Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN and KMVN) - the tourist corporations of the Garhwal and Kumaon regions of Uttarakhand respectively - in this regard last week.

“Providing such a relaxation in accommodation facilities for the cast and crew (of film units) is important for promoting film tourism in the state,” Sundaram said, while directing managing directors of the twin corporations to introduce the 50% tariff concession in their respective regions.

There are over 130 tourist resthouses and bungalows run by GMVN and KMVN across the state.

The rebate, however, comes with a rider that it will not be applicable during the peak tourist months of May, June and October - which film experts say are some of the best months for shooting in the mountain state given the weather and lighting conditions.

“If it truly wants the desired results (in promoting film shoots), the government should either consider extending the relaxation to round the year or at least should give relaxation (during the peak months) in all resthouses other than those on Char Dham Yatra routes,” Uttarakhand-based line producer Sanjeev Mehta, who has coordinated the shoot of several Bollywood films here, told Hindustan Times.

The annual six-month-long pilgrimage attracts lakhs of tourists to the hill state, so the ride should be limited to the most frequented Yatra routes only, he said.

More than 60 films, documentaries, TV serials, video albums, regional films and ad films have been shot in the mountain state since the state’s dedicated Film Policy was made effective in 2015.

Apart from round the year concession in room rent for film units, regional filmmakers have also demanded that the relaxation be increased to 70% for them as local film units usually work in limited resources.

“It (providing 50% relaxation) is a welcome step, but regional film units, which work amid tight budget and financial constraints, should be given a bigger push by giving 70% discount in room rents,” said Pradeep Bhandari, regional filmmaker and former president of Uttarakhand Film Television and Radio Association.

First Published: Jul 24, 2017 20:40 IST