KA COMPLEX TOTTERING

NT NETWORK

Panaji

Kala Academy, the premier art and culture institution in
the state, initially facing structural instability and then battered by one of
the heaviest monsoons witnessed by the state, is on the verge of collapse, with
temporary facelift in no way able to salvage the complex designed by internationally reputed architect Charles
Correa.

A visit to the KA complex clearly revealed that the
entire structure – including the open air auditorium, Dinanath Mangueshkar Kala
Mandir, black box and art gallery – is presently in dismal condition and poses
serious threat to the people using the same, including the administrative
staff, and the students of dance as well as music classes, besides those
trained at ‘Rangamel’, repertory company of the KA.

Incidentally, the state government, in context with a
public interest litigation pertaining to the demolition of the KA has already
informed the High Court of Bombay in Goa that it has not taken any decision to
demolish the structure, further stating that the Goa State Infrastructure
Development Corporation has sought more time to place the structural audit
report of the KA before the court.

The court has also appointed Vishnuprasad Lawande as amicus
curiae in the matter.

The KA management has already stopped renting out all its
auditoriums and galleries to the public, and is further planning to move its
dance, music and

drama classes to the Adil Shah Palace, while shifting the
administrative section to the Sanskriti Bhavan.

The roof of the Dinanath Mangueshkar Kala Mandir, which
has been plastered many a times, is
already overweighing and needs to have permanent repair.

The repertory section has cement slab of its ceiling
cracking, with one piece of the slab collapsing on Monday. A number of places
in this complex have their ceilings displaying corroded mild steel bars, as the
pieces of concrete slab have fallen out.

The area in front of the stage forming orchestra pit at
the Dinanath Mangueshkar Kala Mandir is full of water, while the false ceiling
of the stage is in bad condition.

A very expensive piano belonging to the western music
section that has been affected by the rainwater from the leaking ceiling is
presently placed on the stage with a pedestal fan drying it off.

The KA’s black box is also in precarious condition, with
the floor of its control room covered with seeping water. The black carpet of
the black box is all wet and the place is stinking with musty smell.

The floor as well as the ceiling of the art gallery of
the complex has become damp with leaking rainwater. This leakage can anytime
result in collapse of the false ceiling of the gallery.

The worst affected part of the KA complex is its open-air auditorium, which is
presently covered with blue plastic sheet. The control room of this auditorium
is a dangerous setting, with water and electrical wires forming a lethal
combination.

The initial structural report sought by the KA management
from engineering institutes in the state has already pointed out that the
open-air auditorium could cave in anytime due to its structural weakness.

Although fresh structural audit report on the KA edifice is awaited, no expert is
needed to spell out the present condition of this complex. It is clear that no
amount of grouting or use or structural reinforcing serum would help the KA
complex.

The management of this more-than-forty-year old complex
now needs to immediately vacate its classes as well as the administrative
section, and undertake major repairs at the earliest.

And that would be in the interest of all concerned
stakeholders including lovers of art and culture.

Source:: The Navhind Times

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