Film City in Yamuna Expressway: An impossible road ahead

The glam industry recently known by labels such as suicide, drugs, Twitter wars, and nepotism could have a new address: Film City in Yamuna Expressway, UP. Last week, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced 1,000 acre land in Sector 21 of Yamuna Authority of Noida (along Yamuna Expressway) for the new film city.

Although it promises new jobs, investment opportunities, and a much needed ecosystem for post-pandemic shooting, here’s why its an impossible road ahead for the ‘ambitious’ project:-

Lack of framework

Adityanath said that the first shooting at the Film City in Yamuna Expressway would begin in four months. However, he has not announced a proposal for the division of land, finances, or resources. The project, as of now, has no confirmed investors while the officials from Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) have not developed a detailed project report despite site inspection in September.

Safety concerns

Noida, Greater Noida, and neighbouring areas have developed a negative reputation for individual safety, especially women after evening due to regular reports of kidnapping, rape, murder, and gunfights. On top of this, the area around Yamuna Expressway is significantly isolated post sunset. As per UP Film Policy 2018, a separate police station has to be set up for film security, but it will be a challenge nonetheless.

Echoes of previous failure

The previous film city project didn’t go as per plan. Located in Sec 16A Noida, the city was initially established for a series of big studios and regular shoots. However, most of its space has been leased to or bought by companies for their respective offices. For the new Film City in Yamuna Expressway, the designated land has a 780:220 acre ratio for industrial and commercial use respectively – fair chances of a similar fiasco.

Political battle

Film City is the crown jewel of Mumbai and while Yogi Adityanath travels around the City of Dreams for investment, Maharashtra government is expected to create hurdles in the process. On one hand, Sanjay Raut, leader of Shiv Sena, commented upon communal politics associated with this move whereas Anil Deshmukh, Maharashtra Home Minister, said, “I don’t think any other state could’ve provided facilities that Mumbai has. We’ve better law & order. I’m confident the film Industry can’t go elsewhere.”

From the liberal art protectors to analysts, Film City in Yamuna Expressway is being termed as yet another example of overpromised dreams. That said, with the support of central government, it will be interesting to see if Yogi Adityanath can establish a competition for the 100-year old Mumbai film city.


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