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Can Shettar open the Kalabhavan before his term ends?

N. Dinesh Nayak
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His instructions to speed up renovation work ignored

AT AN AGONISING PACE:The renovation work on Kalabhavan in Dharwad has been progressing very slowly despite the Chief Minister's instructions to speed up the work.
AT AN AGONISING PACE:The renovation work on Kalabhavan in Dharwad has been progressing very slowly despite the Chief Minister's instructions to speed up the work.

When Jagadish Shettar became the Chief Minister he had promised to see that the development works in his home town are expedited and completed in time. But will he be able to see that the renovation of Kalabhavan that has been going on for about last three years is completed before his tenure ends?

The renovation work of the auditorium has been going on at a snail’s pace. When Mr. Shettar became the Chief Minister, people here expected that work will be completed early and Mr. Shettar will inaugurate it. On the contrary, the work has come to a grinding halt for last several months for want of funds. Completion of the renovation work in the near future appears a distant possibility.

Kalabhavan is maintained by the Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation. District administration’s pleas to the State government for funds have gone in vein. Sources said Minister for Kannada and Culture Govind Karajol is reluctant to release funds for obscure reasons. Even Mr. Shettar's instructions in this regard have been ignored. The original estimate of the work was Rs. 5 crore. The cost has escalated to Rs 7 crore, the sources said.

D.B. Hiregoudar, Assistant Director, Department of Kannada and Culture, said their department had very recently released Rs. 1.75 crore and the work would resume soon. But the government releasing such a meagre sum will hardly be of any use. Delay in completing the renovation of Kalabhavan has hampered the cultural activities here. It is centrally located auditorium having sufficient parking space.

It is a convenient place for the people of all age groups to attend the cultural events.

Raghavendra Ayi, secretary, Sitar Ratna Samiti, which organises the annual mega musical and dance festival, said non-availability of Kalabhavan has troubled them a lot. “We organise the programme free of cost inviting eminent artistes from across the country. Kalabhavan is the most suitable venue to organise such programmes. No other auditorium here is as spacious as Kalabhavan,” he said.

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