Chamber to reclaim land allocated decades ago

The long cherished dream of the Kannada film industry to have its own film city is back in circulation again with newly elected president of Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) H.D. Gangaraju taking initiative, to reclaim the land allocated for the purpose decades ago.

Mr. Gangaraju told The Hindu said that the KFCC would leave no stone unturned to reclaim the land allocated for the film city. “The newly elected executive body of KFCC will meet on November 15 and discuss the issue. A delegation of representatives of film industry will meet Revenue Minister V. Srinivasa Prasad as part of its plan to reclaim the land,” he said.

According to Mr. Gangaraju, the demand for film city is decades-old. The Devaraj Urs government allocated 360 acres of land in the 60s for developing a film city. No attempts were made by the crisis-ridden Kannada film industry for long. The Janata Dal government headed by Ramakrishna Hegde allocated 10 acres for Adarsha Film Institute, 10 acres to Nrityagram developed by Protima Bedi and 25 acres of Department of Technical Education, of the 360 acres.

Later, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government headed by Mr. B.S. Yeddyurappa planned to set up a film city, theme park and golf resort under public-private-partnership model and decided to call for expression of interest and asked for the KFCC’s opinion.

“Besides opposing the project, we strongly registered our dissent. We even cautioned of launching protest, if government refuse to change its stand,” he disclosed.

Upset with the government’s plan, the KFCC convened a meeting of industry representatives and discussed the issue.

But there was no consensus on developing film city jointly by a group of film entrepreneurs. Everyone sought pieces of land for development independently, which the KFCC found impracticable, said Mr. Gangaraju, who recently met Director, Information, N. Vishu Kumar and expressed the chamber’s desire to develop the film city. “We want the government to transfer the land to the KFCC,” he said.

With an intention to developing film city, the State government in 1994 appointed an expert committee, headed by journalist the late V.N. Subba Rao. The committee, which submitted its report on March 1, 1994, dealt in detail on the need to develop a film city in Bangalore. Again during the tenure of Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition government headed by N. Dharam Singh, a committee was constituted to study various aspects of development film city at Hesaraghatta and agencies to be involved in implementing the project.

Even the Karnataka Film Industry Development Corporation (KFIDC) talked about the film city project for nearly two decades ago. But the plans of KFIDC did not materialise, as it seemed a faulty concept.

However, the initiative of KFCC has once again raised the hopes of Kannada filmmakers who are facing problem to shoot their films, due to lack of infrastructure.


Gangaraju is KFCC presidentOctober 27, 2013

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