No encore for a messy backstage; Bal Gandharva Rangmandir, Pune

City auditoriums are not being maintained despite funds allegedly being spent

pune Updated: Jul 22, 2017 13:21 IST
Prachi Bari
Prachi Bari
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Bal Gandharav Rangmandir,Yeshwantrao Chavan Auditorium
Mayor Mukta Tilak visit auditorium to check cleanliness at Balgandharva Rangmandir in Pune.(HT PHOTO)

While the theatre community is trying to bring the issue of unclean and unhygienic aspect of the various auditoriums into the forefront, the sudden surprise visit from the Mayor had the officials sit up and take notice of the various cleanliness issues that had been completely ignored before.

Mayor Mukta Tilak said, “If the PMC staff can’t take care of their auditoriums despite having funds, I welcome citizens or private parties to come forward and help us build and operate on a transfer basis. At least this way, we can protect the legacy of being hailed as a cultural capital and give the actors good clean auditoriums.”

The PMC spends around Rs 50 lakhs a year for the maintenance and cleanliness of the auditoriums in the city, with an additional Rs 90 lakhs spent for the maintenance and upkeep of Bal Gandharva Rangmandir and Yeshwantrao Chavan Auditorium.

“I agree that we are falling short in the cleanliness coefficient of the auditorium, but it all depends upon various tenders and their release timings. There is not much that we can do when I don’t have enough staff to work with,” said Praksh Amrale, administrative officer, PMC cultural department. He agrees that the cleanliness aspect is important for any auditorium or public space, and he is working on it. Ever since the social media post from actress Mukta Barve, they have been working on improving the cleanliness aspect, he claimed.

“We have started maintaining a register for the cleaning staff where they will make an entry of the cleaning timings of not just toilets, but the entire auditorium. We plan to clean the auditorium and the toilets after every show and hope to maintain records for the officials to visit and check,” said Praksh Amrale.

Amrale also pointed out that they will be serving notices to drama companies who have left behind their sets in the holding room in the basement of the rang mandir. This is the first step towards a clean auditorium, he added.

He also mentioned that the Pune municipal commissioner Kunal Kumar is also taking keen interest and has started a dialogue to push for tenders to be presented in front of the standing committee to expedite the tenders for cleaning and maintenance.

First Published: Jul 22, 2017 12:31 IST