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