Slow pace of Thane’s au­di­to­rium re­pair work up­sets theatre lovers

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - Pad­mja Sinha pad­mja.sinha@hin­dus­tan­times.com

It has been more than four months since part of false ceil­ing at Kashinath Ghanekar theatre in Vas­ant Vi­har came crash­ing down, fol­low­ing which, it was shut.

The mini theatre with a ca­pac­ity of 250 is open but the main theatre is closed. Theatre lovers are still wait­ing for it to re­open.

On April 25, a ma­jor por­tion fell ow­ing to the ill-main­te­nance of the fire-fight­ing sys­tem by the civic au­thor­ity. There was a leak­age prob­lem which weak­ened the ceil­ing and it col­lapsed.

The Thane Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion is car­ry­ing out re­pair work but in a slow pace.

Veteran Cit­i­zens’ Fo­rum sec­re­tary HP Singh wanted to book the hall for Oc­to­ber 7, World Se­nior Cit­i­zens’ day but was dis­ap­pointed to know that the theatre is yet to open.

“The de­lay in work is a huge rev­enue loss for the TMC. Ev­ery year, we have been con­duct­ing the event for the past five years but this year we have not got book­ing be­cause the theatre has not been re­paired yet,” said Singh.

Four months ago, the TMC had said they would re­open the theatre in 20 days which was ex­tended to one month and now its four months but no re­pair work has started.

La­woo Ram­chan­dra Naik, 78, a res­i­dent of Vas­ant Vi­har, said that Kashinath Ghanekar is that only civic-run theatre in the area.

“TMC should be­gin work im­me­di­ately so that our event for se­nior cit­i­zens day cel­e­bra­tion is not af­fected,” he said.

The theatre is only five years old.

K Ku­mar, pres­i­dent of Pro­gres­sive Thane Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion, said: “With a ca­pac­ity of some 1200, the big theatre is al­ways in de­mand. We have been or­gan­is­ing mu­si­cal and other events in the theatre. But, the de­lay in open­ing it has af­fected our sched­ule. The mini theatre has a ca­pac­ity of only 250 peo­ple so or­gan­is­ing pro­grammes for a big au­di­ence is not pos­si­ble.”

Sandeep Malvi, pub­lic re­la­tions of­fi­cer of TMC, said: “Ten­der­ing process for the work or­der is over and work has started. The theatre will be ready to be booked af­ter a month’s time.”

He added that the mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tion has in­curred a loss of Rs60lakh.

The book­ing cost of the theatre de­pends on the slots. Charges range be­tween Rs5,000 and Rs12,000, ex­clud­ing elec­tric­ity and other charges.

The bud­get for re­pair work is Rs25 lakh.

Ad­di­tional com­mis­sioner of TMC Sunil Cha­van said: “The work has started but be­cause of the de­lay in start­ing work, a larger patch of the ceil­ing has been af­fected.”

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