With water scarcity becoming a key issue in Maharashtra, even Bollywood stars are not being spared for any laxity. Only a few days ago, veteran actor Sadashiv Amrapukar was in news for reportedly wasting water during a social gathering at his home.
The latest ire of public anger is no one else than Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan. The team of SRK’s movie Chennai Express has come under scanner for wasting precious water at times when the state is reeling under water scarcity.
Irrigation department in Maharashtra has reportedly asked for a detailed investigation into the matter and asked the production team of Chennai Express to come up with a suitable explanation. The film crew had used water from Dhom dam in Satara for shooting, even as the region is suffering from worst water crisis in the last 40 years.
Local villagers were up in arms against the film crew. As per the villagers, the film crew had not only extracted water from the dam but also set up a garden for shooting purpose and water was used excessively for its upkeep.
Clarifying further on the issue, Pradip Patil, the Executive Engineer at Dhol dam said that irrigation officers are looking into the issue and report on the issue will be submitted shortly to higher authorities. The report as per Pradip would be comprehensive and will give all the answers to any potential questions that would come up for discussion at a later stage.
Departmental sources clarified that necessary permissions had been issued to the film crew for shooting at the dam site. The production team had already paid advance for shooting. However, the use of water from the dam was not allowed and the crew had violated the necessary permissions by using the dam water. The dam is a lifeline for the farmers in the region and such callous approach on part of film production unit is highly unacceptable.
However, Krishanu Sarvabhaum , line producer for Red Chillies Entertainment strongly refuted the claims made by the irrigation department. He said that water at sets was purchased and workers at the set were provided with mineral water for drinking purpose.
Shah Rukh Khan has meanwhile decided to maintain silence on the issue. He has so far not issued any comment on the topic and is instead focusing on completing the shooting. It is worth mentioning here that the Bollywood superstar is missing the ongoing IPL matches in order to complete the shooting for the movie.
The controversy on use of dam water by the movie crew is likely to boil into a political controversy as opposition parties are looking for issues. The water scarcity in Maharashtra can add fuel to the fire. State Government is already under pressure to perform and does not wish to get embroiled in any new controversy.
It is also for Bollywood stars to consider the ground realities and be considerate on issues that impact human life as any wastage of resources can be of severe consequences for one and all.