Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced that there are plans to construct an amphitheatre with a seating capacity of about 10,000-15,000 to hold concerts, exhibitions etc and also to renovate the Dhanwate Rang Mandir to satisfy the cultural thirst of the city. Fadnavis said he would plan and execute the two projects in association with Union minister for road transport, highways, shipping and water resources Nitin Gadkari.
He was speaking at the function where President Ram Nath Kovind dedicated the Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s 2,000-seater Kavivarya Suresh Bhat Sabhagruha to the public on Friday. Fadnavis, Gadkari, governor C Vidyasagar Rao, mayor Nanda Jichkar, guardian minister Chandrashekar Bawankule and municipal commissioner Ashwin Mudgal were present on the occasion.
Lauding the efforts of Gadkari and NMC in the construction of the state-of-the-art auditorium, Fadnavis said the city needed more such venues to boost the cultural sector. “The court has imposed a ban on the conduct of any kind of events at Kasturchand Park and Yashwant Stadium. There is no other open space available for holding many events. Hence, we have decided to build an amphitheatre at a central location soon,” said Fadnavis.
Kovind said he had decided to visit Nagpur before going Mumbai. “I was told that it is a tradition for the President to visit the capital first while visiting any state for the first time. But I wanted to visit Deekshabhoomi and Dragon Palace first. The President has been given responsibility to preserve, protect and defend the country’s constitution. Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar was the chief of the constitution so I felt that I should visit Nagpur first,” he said.
The President said he made two conscious decisions after taking over office on July 25. “I wanted to be among the armed forces on my first visit outside New Delhi. Therefore, I visited Leh-Ladakh on August 21. At that time the situation was tense due to the Doklam issue. Since the President is also the supreme commander of the armed forces it was only right that I be with them. The second decision was to visit Nagpur before going to Mumbai,” said Kovind.
Kovind added that Zero Mile Nagpur is equipped to become the centre of nation’s development. “Education and technology development depends upon literacy rate of any city. A UNICEF survey (in 2012) revealed that Nagpur leads all cities and districts in the state in literacy rate with 92%. Fadnavis and Gadkari are executing a slew of developmental projects for the city’s overall progress. There is also a proposal to make Nagpur ‘Smart’. I have belief that Nagpurians that they will continue to contribute to the development of the state and country,” he said.
The President said Maharashtra can be an ideal state for the country when it comes to preserving culture even while not ignoring development. “India is about to leave an impression in the 21st century. The entire world is looking towards India for its speed in development and technology. Maharashtra has been leading in all types of fields right from freedom movement to commercial, cultural, religious, art etc. Therefore, Maharashtra can give power to the entire country in way of development,” he said.
Kovind also said Bhat was an inspiration for others. “Not many knew that Bhat was paralytic in one leg from childhood. Yet, he made a name for himself in the entire nation,” he said.
Gadkari asked the NMC to keep auditorium’s rental charges at Rs5,000 per show. “This can be done as the hall can be run on solar power. There are other sources of revenue too,” he said.
The Union minister also said design of the proposed Symbiosis University in East Nagpur was ready and will be best among all structures of universities in the nation. “The university will be developed at a cost of Rs450 crore,” said Gadkari.
Jichkar highlighted the salient features of the auditorium. Corporator Dayashankar Tiwari conducted the proceedings while Mudgal proposed a vote of thanks