HYDERABAD: Railways and Indian cinema have gone hand in hand since time immemorial. But it is interesting to note that South Central Railways earns quite the handsome amount by renting out its properties for movie shoots. In the financial year of 2018-2019, SCR earned Rs 51 lakh by doing the same. The SCR provided over 29 permissions the previous year.
Speaking to Express, SCR spokesperson said, “Recent movies such as NTR Mahanayakudu, Majili and Jersey have been shot at South Central Railway properties. The most popular settings have been the stations at Kacheguda, Vikarabad and Timmapur and railway workshops such as the Diesel Loco Shed at Moula-Ali and playgrounds in the Secunderabad area.” The spokesperson added that they do not give permissions for major stations such as Nampally and Secunderabad.
Gowtham Tinnanuri, the director of Nani-starrer Jersey, shot several scenes of the movie at SCR stations. “Our movie had to be shot at sparsely-crowded locations as it is a period-drama sequence. We opted for stations on the outskirts of the city. We did not have any issues with getting permissions or at the shoot,” he said.
For Indian nationals, permissions are granted by the chief public relations officers (CPRO) of respective zones. For foreign film producers who need permission to shoot feature films that would be shown outside the country, they need to approach the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. Further clearances, such as security, have to be obtained from the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Railways.
Secunderabad 4th in data consumption
Meanwhile, it is learnt that passengers at the Secunderabad railway station are right on top when it comes to usage of Wi-Fi internet. The station is ranked fourth among more than 1,600 stations across India in terms of unique users. In South Central Railway, a total of 207 stations have been provided with Wi-Fi facility; 36 are major stations while 171 are minor. Besides, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Tirupati and Guntakal are some of the stations which recorded significantly high numbers of users. In May 2019, around 10 lakh users across the 207 stations consumed a whopping 40 Terabyte of data.
It is estimated that across the country, nearly 20,000 users make use of free Wi-Fi for the first time.
It is interesting to note that the free Wi-Fi service is not just used by passengers. For instance, at Gollapalli in Telangana, it is being used by teachers of a government school which is located close to the station.