A few days ago, everyone was in for quite a shock when the web was hit by the news of the sudden and shocking death of two of the crew members of Savdhaan India in a devastating road accident.
This happened after the crew members had to travel in wee hours as the shoot was extended a lot more than the scheduled time. Pramod Kalekar, a worker on the sets of 'Savdhaan India', was killed in a bike accident on February 13 around 4.30 am, after a shift of nearly 19-20 hours. The deceased was an Assistant Art Director on the crime show, which is being produced by Rajesh Tripathi (Ghummakad Productions).
It is now being reported that the shooting of the crime show stopped by the Federation Of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE). "There was no shooting of 'Savdhaan India ' since that ill-fated day. As far as I know, we have been seeing repeat episodes of old," FWICE president B N Tewari told ETimes TV.
FWICE asked producer Tripathi to pay a compensation of Rs 20 lakh to Pramod's wife, Savita Kalekar. The producer took time to shell out the amount as he argued with FWICE. The amount ordered by FWICE was Rs 50 lakh but finally the Federation consented on Rs 20 lakh.
"Tripathi did pay Rs 20 lakh but the show's broadcaster had also been asked by us to clear his outstanding dues of 20 episodes. This is apparently Tripathi's first show as a producer and the Rs 20 lakh compensation mustn't have been easy on his pocket. So, we felt that his dues should be first paid up by the channel so that he can at least breathe a bit free. The channel also took time but have now finally agreed- and so we have given a green signal to the shoot from only today."
"However, let me tell you that Tripathi had to pay Rs 15 lakh to Pramod's wife from his account while he will recover the remaining Rs 5 lakh from an insurance company. Time and again we have insisted that everyone on the sets should be insured to the tune of Rs 25 lakh but Tripathi hadn't toed the line and he insured them for only Rs 5 lakh. If he had gone by our recommendations, he wouldn't have had to disturb his own account," Tewari explained.
On the other hand, Savita Kalekar, when contacted, told us, "Yes, I have received Rs 20 lakh. I have two kids to look after, my daughter is in the 11th standard and my son is in 4th. Pramod, my husband, was a very safe bike rider. He never drove fast or recklessly." Recalling their last conversation, she said, "I spoke to him on February 13, a little past midnight. It was around 12:30 am and he told me he still has work and will come home late. Aur uske baad..., " and Mrs Kalekar trailed off.
Meanwhile, Tripathi has been pulled up for shooting more than 12 hours which is the maximum allocated time. "FWICE had dispatched a letter of discord to him, the channel and its OTT platform. Nobody should shoot for so long as Tripathi did that day. Every producer and artiste is aware of this," relayed Tewari. It maybe recalled that Dilip Pithwa, Former General Secretary of Art Directors' Association, had told ETimes TV after the accident, "It is a terrible thing that we have lost Pramod in such a manner. It was a 7 am shoot from Friday which was stretched till 3.30 am for the next day. Pramod was there from the morning. We don't know the exact cause of the accident yet, though."
Yet another person from the unit, Pramod's helper who was seated in the rear seat, was also reported to have lost his life. FWICE informs us today that the the doctors were able to revive him. "We have ensured that Tripathi is also shelling out the medical expenses of that helper," Tewari concluded.