Gubbi Veeranna Rangamandira will see better days

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Rs. 50 lakh allocated for renovation; BBMP plans to complete work in three months

Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has allocated Rs. 50 lakh for the renovation of the iconic but neglected Gubbi Veeranna Rangamandira in Gandhi Nagar. The move comes in the backdrop of reports that BBMP has been contemplating mortgaging the theatre.

BBMP Standing Committee Chairperson on ward-level works A.H. Basavaraj told presspersons here on Friday that Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Limited (KRIDL) will renovate the theatre within three months. Work will begin on Monday.

Besides that the road on which the theatre is located will be named after Gubbi Veeranna the theatre gets the facelift, added Mr. Basavaraj. BBMP had constructed the theatre in memory of the doyen of Kannada theatre and cinema, Gubbi Veeranna, who carved a niche for himself through his contribution in the field of theatre and cinema. Born in 1890, he founded Gubbi Shree Chenna Basaveshwara Nataka Company, and people who worked with it included Rajkumar, Narasimharaju, Balakrishna, G.V. Iyer, B. Jayashree, and G.V. Shivanand.

From being a major centre for professional theatre groups and providing a platform for hundreds of plays to be staged in the past two decades, the Gubbi Veeranna Rangamandira slowly lost its glory in the recent past owing to poor maintenance.

The Gubbi Veeranna Rangamandira has been kept locked since a year by the BBMP on the pretext of renovation. Following this, hundreds of artistes, who were dependent on this theatre for survival, have been put to hardship. Theatre artistes have also launched a public movement urging the authorities to refurbish and reopen the theatre.

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