Film city to come up in Bengaluru

Deputy Chief Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan on Thursday said that a film city would be established on 150 acres of land at Hessarghatta in the city. This proposal, earlier, had drawn criticism by environmentalists.

Speaking to reporters after meeting Kannada actor Shivarajkumar, the Deputy Chief Minister said the Animal Husbandry Department has 450 acres at Hessarghatta, of which 150 acres would be earmarked for the film city.

Conservationists slammed the move saying it would mean disaster for the ecosystem there. “This is nothing but a real-estate prospect. Now the government has a rule that if you lease government land, you can buy that land. Around the grasslands, there is a lot of farmland. The whole area’s complex ecology will change. It will become a city,” said one of them.

They also pointed out that there are 140 species of birds, some of them rarest of rare such as the greater spotted eagle, vulnerable to extinction; lilac silverline butterfly, and slender loris. “Moreover, it is Arkavati river’s catchment area,” said a conservationist, adding that they would approach the court against the move.

During his meeting with Dr. Narayan, Mr. Shivarajkumar discussed the problems being faced by the film industry owing to COVID-19 and sought the government’s support. The actor and other film personalities are expected to meet Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa next week.

Issues related to financial support to daily workers in the film industry, subsidy for films, and reduction of GST for films were discussed, Dr. Narayan said.

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Sagar Biswas

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