Margao’s Ravindra Bhavan craving for attention

Crore of rupees were spent towards the up-gradation of existing facilities, besides addition of state-of-the-art amenities at the Ravindra bhavan, Margao for the IFFI inaugural ceremony exactly a year ago. But, the new General Council headed by Damu Naik have not only found many of the facilities failing, but there’s no urgency shown by the concerned authorities to put things in place, finds Guilherme Almeida

Even as the government is yet to take a call on instituting a probe into the Rs 13-odd crore works executed at the Ravindra Bhavan sans expenditure sanctions, the new panel headed by Damu Naik have pointed out a host of discrepancies and has mooted measures to put the infrastructure in place.

It’s months now since the Black Box, built on the eve of IFFI, developed leakage near its main entrance.

Similarly, the leaking green room also requires urgent repairs, but the authorities are yet to move in to plug the leakages.

Pavers laid along the festival street area and at Gate No 5 of the complex, besides the rear side, lies damaged. The Panel had suggested urgent work to re-arrange the pavers, but work is yet to commence. The compound wall behind the open air stage remains incomplete till date.

Says Ravindra Bhavan General Council Chairman Damu Naik: “The Ravindra Bhavan is craving for attention. There’s no technical manpower to attend to power failures or pipe leakages at the complex. I have submitted the manpower requirements to the government for consideration”.

Damu says the Ravindra Bhavan today houses a 1100-seater auditorium, 500 seating capacity conference hall, 200 capacity Black box, besides an open air stage for outdoor programs, but questions over the parking arrangements remains unanswered till date.

“I have asked the PWD to prepare a comprehensive proposal for vehicular parking at the Ravindra Bhavan taking into account actual coverage.

Complaints are pouring in that vehicles are parking alongside the swimming pool-Court road during major programs”, he said. The parking question assumes significance and comes against the backdrop of the approvals accorded by the Centre to build two multiplexes costing Rs 28 crore inside the complex.

Incidentally, the censor operated toilets were installed at the Ravindra Bhavan to meet the international specifications during the IFFI festival, but their functioning has come under the scanner of the new panel.

“We had submitted to the consideration of the PWD and other authorities, around 13 discrepancies for urgent redressal, but in vain. We have now drawn the attention of the Art and Culture Minister Dayanand Mandrekar to the problems plaguing the cultural institution’, Damu said, while hoping that things will fall in place in the immediate future. [H]