The Bharatmata theatre is here to stay.
The state government’s monitoring committee passed an order on Tuesday asking the National Textile Corporation (NTC) to withdraw cases against the theatre within four weeks.
NTC could face a blanket ban on all redevelopment in mill land if the cases are not withdrawn.
“The empowered committee passed a very significant order today asking the NTC to withdraw the cases in the court within four weeks or face a blanket ban on redevelopment on NTC property. The cases pertain to the Bharatmata theatre redevelopment and 17 other properties in its vicinity,” Nimesh Mehta, member of the committee said.
Bharatmata theatre has been a cultural symbol of mill-workers staying in the area.
The state government was also keen that the city’s only Marathi film theatre was not shut down.
But NTC’s decision to redevelop the area turned controversial with the government setting up an empowered committee, a statutory body, to decide on the matter.
The committee, headed by a retired judge BB Chavan, has members from the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada), BMC, the Rashtriya Mill Mazdoor Sangh (RMMS) and the Girni Kamgar Sangharsh Samiti.
NTC officer-in-charge of western zone VD Zope said he was yet to receive the order. “There is no written communication from the committee to us yet and will be able to
comment only after we go through it.”
On January 19, Union Textile Minister Dayanidhi Maran also assured that the theatre would not be demolished. The NTC had then approached the city civil court over the issue.