CM Arvind Kejriwal to make Delhi Bollywood-friendly

Delhi(PTI): The Capital may be the new Bollywood destination, if Delhi government sources are to be believed. Moving on the lines of the ease of doing business project, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal now wants to try a new project – to make filmmaking easy in Delhi.


Working towards the purpose, the Aam Aadmi Party government is in the process of formulating a single-window clearance process to granting the multitude of permissions required by filmmakers to shoot in the capital. Goa has been the latest to implement the single-window clearance for films in the country.

The decision is the outcome of a series of meetings between Kejriwal and eminent personalities from the Hindi film industry, who are apparently fed up of shooting in the Bollywood capital Mumbai and its surrounding areas due to the multi-layered tedious permissions required for the process.

According to sources, the Delhi Tourism and Transport Development Corporation (DTTDC) will be serving as the nodal point for giving out all required permissions, and the organisation has also prepared a film shooting manual, listing out all the processes to be followed while shooting in Delhi.

“The manual has detailed information on the procedures to be followed in order to apply for permissions to shoot a film, the guidelines to be followed, requirements of the different agencies, the fees to be deposited to shoot a film. It would come handy to filmmakers, if they are shooting in the Capital,” a source informed, adding that the manual would be released in a few weeks.

SS Yadav, who heads DTTDC confirmed the decision to prioritise this initiative was also taken in the backdrop of many popular Bollywood movies being shot in Delhi in the last few years.

“Delhi has many historic monuments, old, archaic havelis and lakes all of which are increasingly making it a popular destination for shooting films. The city also acts as a transit to exotic hill stations in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and other popular locations in Rajasthan, Kashmir, Agra and Amritsar,”said Yadav.

At present shooting a film in the capital is a tedious process that requires permissions from different authorities such as the Delhi police, the Delhi traffic police, landowning agencies of the location where the film is being shot, the Archaeological Survey of India, the Delhi archaeological department, PWD among others.

In the last few months, Kejriwal has met film producers such as Mahesh Bhatt, Mukesh Bhatt, actors Kamal Hassan, Shatrughan Sinha among others, to work on the lines of making Delhi cinema-friendly.

Producers speaking to dna said they were hoping the initiative is a success. Film & Television Producers Guild of India president Mukesh Bhatt said shooting in Mumbai is a nightmare for filmmakers.

“Hundreds of different permissions are needed for shooting in Mumbai, which invariably involves greasing the palms of different authorities. We are hoping that things become easier for us in Delhi,” he said, adding that the producers are making a comprehensive blueprint on the subject, that they will be submitting to the Delhi government in a month.

Refusing to divulge many details of the blueprint, he admitted subsiding entertainment tax is one of the demands to the Delhi government.

Producer Mahesh Bhatt said successive Maharashtra governments have failed to address the Hindi film industry’s needs, despite producers’ bodies bringing the problems to their notices time and again. “With the amount of ground-level corruption in Mumbai, we would like to shoot any day in South Africa, which is much more feasible and economically viable. It is expensive and there are hundreds of permissions required before we can even start shooting. While the Maharashtra government is a little empathetic towards the Marathi film industry, they have nothing to offer for the Hindi film industry,” he said.

He added that Delhi, on the other hand has an ancient India charm and offers attractive spaces responding to the changing needs of the Hindi film industry. “There are artists available from the National School of Drama and the government has been encouraging on promoting films and theatres in the capital. We want to minimise interaction with the bureaucracy, and there should be a flexible timing to approach the Delhi government authorities for shooting permissions,” he said.

Actor and politician Shatrughan Sinha, who has recently written to Kejriwal on setting up a film city in the capital, said the project will not only encourage art and culture in the capital, but also boost employment here. “I hope to see a film city in Delhi soon. If the project is implemented in Delhi, it will also boost tourism, on the lines of the Hyderabad film city. It will also be a huge employment generator,” Sinha told dna.

According to Central board of Film Certification data, in 2012, 1,602 films were produced in India in 35 languages, with a maximum of 262 Tamil films, followed by 25 Telugu films and 221 Bollywood movies.