There are around two dozen big and small private film studios in Mumbai spread over huge properties, said the official who declined to be identified. 'Despite our best efforts, they refused permission in the past to our teams to carry out fumigation in their studios, ostensibly since they wanted to avoid the smell and disturbances in shooting schedules,' the official told IANS.
However, after Chopra's death, the BMC will send notices to all private studios seeking entry into the premises for fumigation, which can take a few hours. 'We hope to complete the fumigation of all the studios within a week or so and expect the co-operation of the studio owners/managements,' the official said. During the current mosquito breeding season which starts during monsoon, Mumbai has seen four deaths, including of Chopra, due to dengue, which is spread by mosquitoes. Besides, 157 dengue patients are currently undergoing treatment at various government and private hospitals across the city.
The health official said that last year, to arrest dengue cases and minimise mosquito hazards, the BMC had taken special permission to enter and fumigate all the private mill lands and all the railway yards in Mumbai where mosquitoes breed unhindered. 'The dengue-spreading mosquito breeds only in clean water and lot of water used to get accumulated in mill lands, railway yards and, now we suspect, even in the film studios. So we have decided to fumigate all the studios,' he added.
As a precautionary measure, the BMC will advise all the private studios to regularly undertake fumigation at their own cost whenever they notice mosquitoes on their premises. Some of the studios used for film-making in Mumbai include RK, Filmistan, Filmalaya, Mehboob, usually spread between 150,000 to 225,000 square feet. In addition to these, there are many smaller studios which have cropped up in Mumbai for shooting of television serials and commercials.