The shooting of Mani Ratnam’s much-hyped film Ravan, starring Aishwarya Rai, has hit a road-block once again with the forest authorities in Maharashtra slapping cases against 14 people from the crew.
The state forest authorities have slapped cases against the crew members charging them of trespassing forest property.
“Cases have been registered against 14 persons under the Forest Conservation Act, 1980 and the Indian Forest Act,1927,” said Deputy Conservator of Forests Subhash Shelke.
“These persons have been charged with illegally entering forest property and undertaking land levelling work to facilitate the film’s shoot,” Shelke said.
The action was taken after forest officials, on a ‘routine beat inspection’ last week near Malshej Ghat area, bordering Thane and Pune districts, noticed the levelling of the land without permission from the department, he said.
“We have impounded vehicles, including a JCB and tractors used by these people,” Shelke said, adding that after the cases were filed, the film crew applied for permission for the shoot and even deposited Rs 2.5 lakh as deposit for the same.
“As per our information, the actual shooting is supposed to begin from August 27 and is expected to go on for a fortnight in the first phase,” the officer said.
Earlier, Ratnam’s production house Madras Talkies was issued a show cause notice by the Animal Welfare Board for not taking permission to use elephants in his film.
The filmmaker had to postpone the shooting for some time after an elephant turned amok on the movie set last month, killing its mahout.