The fate of the city’s cultural landmark, Kingdom of Dreams (KoD), is being decided by a high-level committee constituted to assess its viability. Sources said the three-member committee formed by the Haryana government is meeting on Wednesday and will look into the possibility of a turnaround as the KoD management had sought help to keep the venture afloat.
Kingdom of Dreams, operated by Great Indian Nautanki Company, owes Rs42 crore as lease amount to the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda). Due to non-payment of lease dues, KoD has been issued several notices, and sources said that the urban authority was on the verge of closing it before a proposal came from the management seeking help from the state government.
The complex, spread over almost six acres, receives around 7,00,000 visitors annually.
The three-member committee comprises two additional state chief secretaries, Rajan Gupta and Sanjeev Kaushal, and Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation managing director Sudhir Rajpal.
“The committee has already held two meetings to discuss the viability of KoD as the government wants to ensure that this cultural project survives. Details pertaining to KoD’s financial status, operations, assets and liabilities have been sought,” said a senior government official.
The committee’s third meeting is being held on Wednesday in which detailed discussions are likely to take place regarding KoD’s future.
Sources said that though the state government wants to ensure that the cultural venture is kept afloat, it will not compromise on the amount owed by the management. Huda too is also unlikely to take over the cultural complex as the state government felt it lacks the skills to run such a venture.
There has been stringent criticism of Huda for failing to take action against the KoD despite pending dues. It was also alleged that prime land in the heart of the commercial district of Gurgaon was given to KoD on pecuniary considerations.
An RTI application filed by Harinder Dhingra found that KoD was given 5.6 acres in Sector 29 at a monthly rent of Rs36 lakh in March-April 2009. However, only a small amount has been paid and the rest is still pending, Dhingra said.
Huda administrator Yashpal Yadav said they are awaiting directions from the state government in this regard. “We will go by rules and implement the same,” he said.
Meanwhile, speaking from London, Anumod Gagan Sharma, managing director, Kingdom of Dreams, said, “We had made our presentation in the last meeting and after that we were asked to present the cashflow statements. We are ready with the documents and will submit the same whenever asked.”