Staff Reporter

Cultural troupes are compelled to present their performances in residential areasExisting auditoriums are at times out of reach of small troupes

BERHAMPUR: Cultural activists allege that the city is yet to have a proper auditorium.

It is affecting promotion of cultural activity in the city. The demand of cultural activists for construction of an open air auditorium within city limits is yet to materialise. Even the chairperson of the Berhampur Development Authority (BDA), Sarat Ranjan Patnaik accepts this lacking of this largest city of south Orissa, which is also the third Municipal Corporation in the State.

Mr. Patnaik said the BDA was ready to invest and build up a proper auditorium for cultural activities. But it was yet to get land from the municipality or the Revenue Department for the purpose, he alleged. The cultural activists wait for the day when a proper auditorium would take shape in the city.

Due to dearth of proper auditorium, some cultural troupes are compelled to present their performances in residential areas. Recently a cultural group had to hold their cultural show ‘Vande Mataram’ in an open space in front of an apartment. Editor of ‘Abhinaya Jagat’ a magazine devoted to stage activities in the State, Mihir Tripathy said due to lack of proper auditorium budding cultural troupes of the city were finding it hard to show off their skill. He also alleged that the existing auditoriums were at times out of reach of these small troupes. The town hall of the city, which was reconstructed recently, has a very small stage, which is not suitable to hold major theatre performances or dance recitals. The other large auditorium, the Kavisurya Rangamanch is in a corroded state. Its lack of ventilation and bad acoustics is alleged to be detraction for most enthusiasts of cultural activists. Moreover this auditorium also gets booked for different purposes including clearance sales for months together.

Noted theatre activist, Raju Padhi suggested the administration to come up with a open air stage inside the city premises with a gallery around it. The stage should have all facilities for installing lights and back drops needed for a show. According to him in case there is dearth of space, this open air auditorium, can be constructed into a playground of some government school.