Panaji bans film shooting, citing traffic congestion

Panaji, Jan 25 (IANS) City fathers of Goa's most beautiful city, capital Panaji, have banned film shootings within its area.

Speaking to IANS Friday, Panaji Mayor Vaidehi Naik said the city corporation had decided to ban film shootings and exhibitions until a formal plan for development of Panaji is put in place.

"Traffic congestion is one of the major issues which led to the decision," Naik said.

Panaji has been used as a backdrop for a host of mainstream films produced by the biggest banners in business.

Rajinikanth's "Robot" partially was shot in the city's Campal area, which is a beautiful town with old Portuguese homes and an evergreen tree canopy.

A short distance from Campal near the old Secretariat, Bipasha Basu romanced Rana Daggubati in "Dum Maaro Dum".

The Maquinez Palace and the Inox multiplex, both of which are hosting sites for the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), are regular shooting locales for Rohit Shetty, who has shot chunky portions of "Singham" and his "Golmaal" series here.

Naik said the decision to ban exhibitions and shootings in Panaji was to ensure that the locals residing in the city do not have to face discomfort.

"We are in the process of developing a holistic plan for Panaji. When we do that, we will consider lifting the ban," Naik said.

Located on the banks of the Mandovi river, Panaji is a heritage lovers' dream with its old Portuguese-styled homes, its palaces and imposing churches as well as tiled homes, scores of which are unfortunately being gobbled by construction companies for "development".

The city also houses Asia's only Latin quarters which shares very strong visual resemblance to small-allied Mediterranean towns.