Last year Prime Minister Narendra Modi appeared on the adventure television show ‘Man Vs Wild’ with popular host and survival instructor Bear Grylls, and this year, actor Rajinikanth is set to appear on the show next. The shoot for which is currently in progress in the Bandipur National Park area in Karnataka.
Permissions have been secured to conduct the shoot between January 27 and 29 by Banijay Group Seventaurrus Entertainment Studio Private Limited with Karnataka State Department.
Pictures of the actor in Bandipur forest area along with his team and daughter Soundarya have been doing the rounds on social media. The agreement comes with a few restrictions with respect to shoot timings, between 6.00 am and 6.00 pm, no night photography, no use of explosives, no damage to trees, no disturbance to wildlife, etc.
The shoot is likely to take place in Moolehole in Bandipur National Park area which is a core forest area. Bollywood star Akshay Kumar is also rumoured to join the shoot.
Sanjay Mohan, considered to be the second-in-line PCCF (Wildlife) and Chief Wildlife Warden Sanjay Mohan has authorised permission from the state forest department.
“I was not aware of this. I understand Chief Wildlife Warden who had the authority to issue the order has cleared it. I am confident that he must have looked into all the issues before giving such a clearance,” Forest Department Chief in Karnataka, IFS officer Punnati Sridhar told TNM.
Wildlife activists are unhappy over the time of the shoot as they say it will disturb wildlife and disturb forest officials as it is a season to prepare for forest fires. Instead, they said if the forest authorities are keen on giving permission for such shoots, they give it in monsoon or even the period just after the monsoon.
Speaking to TNM, wildlife activist and a former member of the State Wildlife Board, Joseph Hoover, said, “The entire forest force at the moment is working hard to ensure that a catastrophe like last year does not occur. Now, the forest officials have to worry about giving security to the stars. There should have been some sensibility from the department hierarchy to give permission now. Last year, we had lost more than 4,000 hectares of the forest due to fires as a result of lapses by the department. This year they were doing a fine job but this kind of instructions will definitely not help our forests.”
He added, “If the governments are so keen on promoting tourism in forests then they should stop cutting forests as at this rate there won’t be any forest left to promote tourism.”
Rajinikanth, who was in the midst of a controversy for his statements on Periyar and his 1971 rally in Salem, is currently shooting for his upcoming film with director Siva. Rumours of his next with director Lokesh Kanagaraj and co-produced by Kamal Haasan’s Raajkamal Films are yet to be confirmed.
Shooting is underway in Bandipura Tiger Reserve, the shoot will conclude today and Special Tiger Protection force deployed to assist the shoot. pic.twitter.com/tUiEOLBfBc— Mugilan Chandrakumar (@Mugilan__C) January 28, 2020