A day after the city civil court dismissed an appeal to save Lalbaug’s Bharatmata theatre, a popular hub for Marathi cine-goers, politicians on Friday jumped in to stay its eviction.
While the Shiv Sena claimed that the National Textile Corporation (NTC), that owns the land, had assured it of staying the eviction, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan has said the government is ready to take over the place, if required.
Chavan said, “We had to respect the court’s judgment. But if it is possible, the government is ready to buy the land. I strongly believe that the theatre should continue showing Marathi movies as it always has.”
Mayor Shraddha Jadhav and former Sena MP Mohan Rawle led protests at the theatre on Friday morning against the eviction order. “We will follow up the matter with the government,” Jadhav said.
“I spoke to the NTC chairman and managing director in Delhi K. Ramchandra Pillai and he has assured me that they will not begin the eviction process immediately. Even after a new theatre is built, he has assured me that it will be exclusively reserved for Marathi movies,” Rawle said.
Since the theatre is located in a prime locality, the NTC wants to build residential and commercial properties there.
A city civil court on Thursday had dismissed an appeal filed by theatre owner Kapil Bhopatkar challenging the eviction notice by NTC in 2002.