The local authorities demolished a major set of Prakash Jha's upcoming film AARAKSHAN in Bhopal. The demolition was ordered by the District Magistrate's office. Patchwork scenes with Deepika Padukone and Saif Ali Khan were scheduled to be shot on the set later this month.
Prakash Jha Productions had taken land on lease from the Minal Residency Group, not realizing that it was disputed property.
AARAKSHAN SETS-BEFORE AARAKSHAN SETS-AFTER
From end-January till end of March shooting continued on the constructed set.
The set that has been demolished included an entire bungalow that belongs to the character played by Mr. Amitabh Bachhan in the film and parts of the tabela, where informal schools were set up in the film. This particular set was spread over an acre and a half of land.
Prakash Jha, "We had no idea that the land where we had constructed was disputed. But I do feel that even though the demolition had to go through, the authorities knew we had constructed only temporary structures for the purpose of shooting. Why demolish it? It would have been dismantled within a month. Everyone in Bhopal knew it was a set. The demolition has definitely upset our plans. The reason we had left the set standing was because there were a couple of patchwork scenes with Saif and Deepika that remained to be shot. Now we have to work out alternative arrangements."
ADM Bhopal, Mr. Rajnish Shrivastava, "It was an illegal structure, so it was demolished. The High Court had directed us to demolish the structure. We did what we were supposed to, because the construction on that area was not legal."