Pune: The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to privatise its auditoriums cum exhibition halls in the city. The civic body has a total of 14 such auditoriums in the city, out of which only four auditoriums have bookings for experimental and commercial plays and some cultural programs and events during the entire year. The other 10 auditoriums are not utilized completely, but the PMC has to spend a fortune to maintain these auditoriums.
PMC's decision has been taken by only considering the financial aspect, while the cultural community in the city is likely to oppose this decision. PMC officials said drama theatres with auditoriums need frequent maintenance and a lot of funds are spent on this. To cover these losses, the auditoriums and exhibition halls will be given to private players to operate for a duration of one year.
Balgandharv Rangmandir on Jangli Maharaj road, Yashwantrao Chavan Natyagruh in Kothrud, Anna Bhau Sathe Auditorium at Padmavati on Pune-Satara road and Ganesh Kala Krida Manch at Swargate, are the four auditoriums which are occupied for the entire year for various cultural, educational and socio-political programs and events. The rest of the ten auditoriums are either not booked for the entire year or they get very less response from the organisers and audience.
The PMC administration has given instructions to the cultural department to submit a proposal for privatisation of these auditoriums. In another development, the cultural department of the PMC had submitted a proposal of Rs 6 crore to the estimate committee for maintenance of the toilets and washrooms in these auditoriums for the next three years. This proposal was submitted after many popular theatre personalities had expressed their unhappiness over the negligence in the maintenance of washrooms in auditoriums.
The privatisation decision was discussed by the estimate committee members and it suggested that the cultural department should submit a new proposal regarding the maintenance of washrooms. If the auditoriums are handed over to private players for one year, they will be responsible for the maintenance and cleanliness of the toilets and washrooms inside the auditoriums, officials stated.