Questioning the logic for increasing the fee for permission for film-shooting and other production related activities at heritage monuments and sites in the country applied by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the agency under the Ministry of Tourism entrusted with the responsibility of conservation of heritage sites, the Parliamentary Committee has said that the logic doesn’t go well with the interest of tourism and the huge revenues that can be generated through increased footfall of visitors that can happen after watching those movies.
The Parliamentary Committee for Transport, Tourism and Culture in its recommendations has suggested reduction of the fee or even consider the ‘pay-as-you-wish’ model. The committee said that while hiking the fee in 2016 based on the CAG report, the government and the ASI hadn’t taken into consideration the detrimental effect of levying high fees on tourism.
The committee viewed that the mileage and visibility that these monuments would get by featuring in social media and other communication channels when they become backdrop for films is invaluable and the multiplier effect it would create in propelling tourism into these sites is far greater than the income generated through levying fees for such activities.
The Standing Committee recommended review of the policy. The ASI charges somewhere around INR 50,000 to INR 1 lakh for film shooting activities depending on the status of the site — Centrally Protected Monuments, Iconic sites or World Heritage sites.
While permitting such activities, enough safeguards should be kept so that no harm is done to monuments due to such activities, the report said. The committee also recommended a smartphone application for the ASI monuments so that people can get all the information about the monuments at one place. The application should be enabled with online ticket booking facilities for monuments of their choice.