Filmmakers make a beeline for the tiger reserves of Madhya Pradesh
The state of Madhya Pradesh has six tiger reserves - Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Panna, Satpura, Sanjay and Pench which is the habitat of nearly 257 tigers. These big cats have been the object of awe and have drawn admiration from tourists and wild life enthusiasts. Joining the queue is a list of movie makers from India and abroad. The cinematographers are ‘shooting’ the tigers to showcase the rich wildlife of Madhya Pradesh. While it promotes tourism, it also helps the state government in earning an extra dime.
Tiger habitats in Madhya Pradesh have been in the deriving a lot of interest amongst the wild life enthusiasts. Information obtained under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that:
· Rs 36 lakh was received by the government for the 47 permissions that were granted to Indians and foreigners for their photography and filming assignments in Madhya Pradesh’s Bandhavgarh tiger reserve alone between October and December 2013.
· Rs 6 lakh was received for the seven permissions given for filming in Pench Tiger Reserve, Seoni, between 2010-11.
Amongst the producers, an amount of Rs eight lakh was paid by Sudheer Bhai Mishra, production controller at Prakash Jha Productions of Mumbai for shooting in May 2012. This is perhaps the highest amount paid by any individual producer. Though the rules requires that a copy of finished film should be provided free of cost to the Ministry of Environment and Forests and the state government concerned, the same has not been made available as per the reply to the RTI application. The RTI application indicates that the authorities need to be strict about enforcing the rule of depositing the DVD /VCD of the film as most producers do not seem to be following the same.