Film production unit damages Jhelum embankment at Shivpora

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A film production unit shooting in Kashmir on Thursday damaged a portion of Jhelum embankment at Shivpora evoking strong resentment from locals.
A team of officials from irrigation and flood control department reached the spot after locals informed them about the incident on Thursday morning. A police team also arrived after locals called police helpline, seeking immediate action to stop “illegal activity” by the film crew.” The dug up portion was later re-filled.
Muhammad Jamal Bhat, chairman local masjid committee said that a group of persons associated with film crew used machinery to dig the embankment at Shivpora near Darbagh.
“We were surprised and sought an explanation from them. They said that they are making way for some other machinery to be used in shooting. We objected and informed the civil and police administration about this illegal activity,” he said.
He added that the persons engaged in this “illegal activity” also failed to produce any permission from the irrigation and flood control department for carrying this activity.
Basharat Ahmad, another local said that the group showed them the paper issued by Chief Minister’s secretariat addressed to director tourism Kashmir and Jammu. “However, the paper only mentions that these officials should provide all possible help to Vinod Chopra Films and coordinate with relevant organizations for shooting of the film. The paper they showed doesn’t authorize them to risk the lives and property of people by making breaches on river embankment,” he added.
The documents accessed by Greater Kashmir reveal that the crew is shooting film ‘Love Letters from Kashmir’ at different locations across the state.
Ghulam Rasool Chadino, another local said that Shivpora has borne brunt of 2014 devastating floods. “Shivpora remained submerged for over a month during floods. There were thirteen breaches at river embankment in Shivpora stretch alone in 2014. We will not allow any kind of activity on embankment that will risk our life and property by weakening embankment,” he said.
Executive engineer irrigation and flood control department Srinagar Sartaj Singh said “it was not a serious matter.”
“It was just that they were making existing ramp more feasible for their shooting. I have asked the team that it should have sought prior permission,” he said.
He added that the department has given them permission now for carrying “minor activity” on existing ramp and asked them to carry this activity under supervision of an engineer of irrigation and flood control. “There will be no compromise on safety of the embankment,” he said.

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