Bhopal, Aug 30 (IANS) With Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan promising Bollywood a red carpet in Madhya Pradesh, the film and entertainment industry has started showing interest in the state.
While actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha wants to open a film city with studios - like in Mumbai - somewhere near the state capital here, TV czarina Ekta Kapoor is willing to start an acting university in Gwalior.
Gwalior is also the first choice of former Miss World and actress Sushmita Sen, who wants land to install the sets of her own production 'Jhansi Ki Rani' there.
'The government has decided to provide land to Shatrughan Sinha for his project in Bagroda village near Bhopal. The actor has also seen the land and approved it and things are expected to be finalised soon,' an official said.
At an interactive meet with industrialists in Mumbai Aug 10, Chief Minister Chouhan said provisions had been made for facilitating the entry of a film city, besides other units related to the entertainment world.
'Madhya Pradesh, which has abundant natural beauty, has immense possibilities for producing films. The government would provide full support in this regard. Land and other facilities would be provided at concessional rates for setting up a film industry and training institutes,' Chouhan told the meet.
Earlier, during Sinha's visit to the state Aug 7, Chouhan had announced that his government was considering setting up a film city in the state.
He gave this assurance at a special function held in Khandwa to honour actor-turned-politician Sinha with the Kishore Kumar Samman. He said a film city would provide a platform to budding artists.
'Encouraged by the chief minister's assurance, TV producer Ekta Kapoor has also made up her mind to open a university in Gwalior which would impart a bachelor's degree and master's degree courses in acting and other fields related to cinema. These would include theatre, advanced cinema and studio editing,' a source said.
Kapoor has asked for 30 acres of land in two phases for setting up the university and even had talks with Special Area Development Authority (SADA) chairman Jai Singh in this regard.
The government of Madhya Pradesh - one of India's largest states - had constituted SADA for the development of Gwalior.
'Kapoor has talked to me and I have asked her to send a detailed proposal. We have enough land to provide for constructive works. Let the proposal come,' Jai Singh told IANS on phone.
Sushmita Sen's company Tantra has also approached SADA for three acres of land to put up the sets of 'Jhansi Ki Rani'. She also wants to open a studio at least for three years.
'We have invited the actress to come and look for the suitable site and she has agreed', said Jai Singh.