The paradise is witnessing many events at a time including suicide attack after three years, month-long Street campaigning, and a recent attack on the CRPF on the highway linking the Srinagar airport with Gulmarg which can be the possible reasons for this big budget Bollywood biggie to have refused to shoot here. Assistant director for casting, Ashutosh was camping at the Gulmarg Heaven Resort to be joined by the cats and the director.
The Meadow of Gold hill station which is placed at an expanse of 55 km north of Srinagar was the scheduled spot for filmmaker Siddharth Anand who was planning to shot from the 16th of March. According to a crew member who was camping in Gulmarg for the shooting, the rampant condition made Hrithik and Katrina along with other cast members to reject flying to Srinagar. The cast member told it to the Hindustan Times on the condition of secrecy.
Despite of the worries by the Fox Movies, once the conditions return to normal filmmaker Anand is very enthusiastic to go ahead for the shooting.
According to the sources, 40% of the movie was scheduled to be shot in the valley including two songs in Pahalgam and Gulmarg and fighting series on the Dal Lake. The shooting was scheduled to be of 45 days for which 40 members from America were planned to aid in the fight series along with the local casts from Kashmir itself for which auditions was carried out in February.
According to Sharath Dhall, president of Online Yatra.com, the pre advance bookings was boosting highly but in the last few weeks the momentum has slowed down, if this continues then it is going to be a bad news for the summer tourism in the valley.
In past four years, Kashmir was receiving tourists along with directors who were lining to shot their part of the movie in this paradise. The first to heal the wound was ‘Lamhaa’ which was directed by Rahul Dholakia, the entire movie was shot in the valley in 2009 along with the much hyped Shahrukh Khan, Katrina Kaif starrer ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ directed by Yash Chopra which was also shot here partly in 2012. Even director Imtiyaz Ali was glad to shoot a song of the famed Bollywood biggie ‘Rockstar’ starring Ranbir Kapoor in Pahalgam.
The link with Bollywood was proving good for the Kashmir Tourism magnetizing 10 lakh average tourists in a year along with half a dozen of Bollywood big production house visiting the valley last year but all went in vain after the hanging of Afzal Guru which has again started turmoil in the valley.
Jehangeer Ahmad, manager of the hi-end hotel said, “Gulmarg is a premier winter destination and was doing very good business till the hanging, but after that booking went down”.We lost more than 250 night bookings since the hanging, he added.
With the hanging of Afzal Guru, it was not just the movie shoot was cancelled, but the tourism of Kashmir along with other places within the periphery of state was affected, which led to big loss for tourism of the valley.