Officials say work is progressing on a war-footing and will completed by July 25

There has been inordinate delay in completing repair works at Kalamandir, the 30-year-old auditorium-cum-exhibition gallery, that has deprived artistes a platform to exhibit their work.

The Department of Kannada and Culture, which is in-charge of the Kalamandir, had decided to revamp it in 2009 as a number of complaints from representatives of cultural organisations and artistes on acoustics and lighting had been made.

However, so far work had not been completed and the department had stopped renting out the Kalamandira since Jaunary 1 this year.

The department had delegated the works to the Mysore Urban Development Authority (MUDA). However, two years later, it assigned the work to the Public Works Department.

Nirmala Matapathy, assistant Director of Kalamandira, told The Hindu that wall panelling, refurbishing the VIP lounge and green rooms were some of the works that had been taken up. Besides air conditioning, it is planned to install high capacity fans so that event organisers could opt for facilities of their choice, she said. The department, which was planning to install a projector at a cost of Rs. 48 lakh, had dropped both the works as per the recommendations of the epanel of Kalamandir, she said.

The department had deposited an amount of Rs. 1,06,74,934 with the PWD to carry out both electrical and civil works. However, the PWD has not yet completed the work.

Senior officials of the PWD told The Hindu on the condition of anonymity, that the Kannada and Culture Department had handed over the Kalamandira on January 3, and work began on that day.

But as soon as the work started, many artistes went to the Deputy Commissioner of Mysore and urged him to form an expert committee to advise the PWD on the work that was to be taken up.

The committee had recommended certain work and asked for other works to be dropped. Later, when the PWD was about to restart the work, the model code of conduct was enforced and it had to wait till the Lok Sabha elections were over.

Now, officials say the works were progressing on a war footing and according to sources, repairs would be completed by July 25.

Meanwhile, the Shivaji Jayanthi, Siddarameshwara Jayanthi, and Ambigara Chowdaiah were held at the Institution of Engineers as repair works were going on at the Kalamandira.

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