'The CM wants to develop a Film City that would provide the entire value chain of film-making services and infrastructure in one place.'
Noida Film City, the ambitious 1,000-acre project conceived by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, will get another chance to see the light of day, with a third round of global bidding expected soon.
The proposed Rs 10,000 crore (Rs 100 billion) project in Greater Noida has twice failed to attract bidders ostensibly due to the massive investment requirement and prohibitive bidding terms.
Noida Film City was envisioned to rival the Mumbai film industry by providing a one-stop world-class film-making ecosystem, along with modern air and road connectivity.
Though the Yogi 2.0 government revised the bidding terms last year for the second round of tendering, the project failed to enthuse prospective bidders with the final deadline of March 31 -- which was interestingly extended several times -- coming to nought.
The first round of global bidding was floated by the nodal agency Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) in November 2021.
It attracted a single bidder against the minimum mandate of three private bidders.
Following the bidding fiasco, the state government is now looking to provide more incentives and possibly tweak the contract terms, dividing the project into two to three phases and floating separate bids.
This would considerably pare the investment basket, allowing more private parties to bid.
Meanwhile, Jewar MLA Dhirendra Singh told Business Standard that YEIDA owned nearly 70 per cent of the required land and the rest would be acquired from farmers.
"The CM (Yogi) wants to develop a Film City that would provide the entire value chain of film-making services and infrastructure in one place," Singh said, adding that the state government is expected to decide on the new model to be adopted to kick-start the project.
According to reports, film-maker K C Bokadia had also sought 250 acres of land to develop a portion of the Noida Film City with an initial investment of Rs 500 crore (Rs 5 bil;ion).
Bokadia met YEIDA CEO Arun Vir Singh and visited the site of the proposed Film City in Sector 21, which falls in the vicinity of the Yamuna Expressway.
"K C Bokadia had come in connection with the Film City project. I also met with Madhur Bhandarkar and other film-makers in Mumbai. The state government will take a call on giving more incentives in this regard," Singh said, adding that the location of the project makes it enviable for film-makers.
In September 2020, the Yogi government 1.0 announced plans to develop a state-of-art Noida Film City spanning 1,000 acres in the National Capital Region.
The site is an hour away from New Delhi and is close to the Jewar airport, which is now under construction.
Moreover, the government is aware of the popularity of over-the-top media streaming platforms.
Therefore, a high-capacity data centre along with pre-production and post-production infrastructure, processing labs, VFX and digital technology at the international level will be set up in Film City.
In February, the Yogi cabinet approved the new UP Film Policy 2023 whose provisions apply to films made in the proposed Noida Film City as well.
The new policy promises a 50 per cent subsidy on the cost of films made in local dialects of Awadhi, Braj, Bundeli or Bhojpuri. For films in English, Hindi or other languages, the subsidy will be 25 per cent.
A subsidy of 25 per cent, capped at Rs 50 lakh (Rs 5 million), would be given for setting up studios/laboratories (labs) in the state.
If studios/labs are set up in the relatively backward areas of Purvanchal, Vindhyachal, and Bundelkhand regions, the subsidy would be 35 per cent, with a ceiling of Rs 50 lakh.
For films logging at least half of shoot days in UP, the subsidy would be to a maximum of Rs 1 crore (Rs 10 million).
Feature Presentation: Rajesh Alva/Rediff.com