Scores of artistes to take part
Art connoisseurs seek completion of auditorium
Land where YSR laid stone for facility has been occupied
ONGOLE: Amidst much fanfare, the NTR Kalaparishad began its 10-day State-level drama competitions at the colourfully decorated Tata Kalyanamandapam here on Sunday to mark the death anniversary of veteran actor N.T. Rama Rao. Scores of actors, directors, writers and representatives of cultural organisations descended on the town to display their talent and with a yearning to win prizes, which they consider as prestigious as Nandi awards.
The kalaparishad headed by former MLA Eedara Haribabu had been organising the festival against odds every year for the last 10 years.
Many speakers, as usual, made a fervent appeal to the government to complete the construction of the auditorium proposed in the town expeditiously. Stating that Ongole was a cradle for arts and culture, they felt the need for an auditorium here on the lines of Ravindra Bharati in Hyderabad to nurture local talent.
Though Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy laid the foundation stone for the Rs. 1-crore auditorium in Vura tank four years ago, work on the project was yet to commence. While the government delayed release of funds, the one acre land allotted for the purpose was encroached and the occupants went to court seeking protection. The administration decided to provide an alternative land to avoid litigation. Even this is getting delayed.