Environmentalists and social activists of Nilgiris have come out against suggestion by local Member of Parliament and former Union Minister A. Raja to set up a Film City in the district.
Recently, while speaking in Parliament, the MP had said that Udhagamandalam in Nilgiris is highly suited for constructing a Film City as several movies had already been made there. He said that if a Film City is constructed, it can become a major revenue earner and a hub of filmmaking.
Manoj Narayanan, a local environmentalist, and a conservationist told IANS: “It is unfortunate that a Member of Parliament is making such a statement. Ooty and Nilgiris are fast becoming a concrete jungle and bringing up a film city would lead to more losses of natural habitat and this cannot be allowed to happen.”
N. Mohanraj, a conservationist at Nilgiris said: “The ecology of the district is already burdened by existing projects, like a number of hydroelectric projects and Radio Astronomy Centre and Cosmic Ray Laboratory. The idea of a Film City at this place would lead to more issues and it has to be prevented.”
Conservationists and environmentalists are of the opinion that the present system of a few movies being shot at the natural beauty of Udhagamandalam and Nilgiris is acceptable. The activists, however, said that construction of concrete buildings in the name of Film city would hamper the ecological balance in the area and that it cannot be allowed to happen.
Raja told IANS: “The Film city project was my suggestion and I had passionately spoken about it in Parliament as I believe that it is a good project for Udhagamandalam and Nilgiris. However, the project will be further taken forward after eliciting views and opinions from all sections of the populace and there are no compulsions in this regard.”