BMC Hands over a cultural centre to NFDC.

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A 100-seater film and cultural centre in Bandra, lying abandoned for at least a decade, was leased by the BMC to the National Film Development Corporation of India (NFDC) on Friday for a period of thirty years. The centre will be a boon to residents since it will exhibit films as well as other activities to promote the growth of cinema.Equipped with an exhibition hall, a 100 seater digital cinema, a reading and research library, a bookshop, and a cafeteria, this ground-plus-two-storey structure had been lying unutilised for about a decade. FPJ had reported about 22 welfare centres (transit camps) lying unutilised in the city for want of a policy prescribing their use. This seems to be another case where a structure was built by the BMC reserved for a theatre but had been lying unutilised for several years. It was only recently when the NFDC wrote to the civic body expressing their interest in the building did the BMC decide to lease it to them.Thus, in an official ceremony held in Bandra on Friday, municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte handed over the keys to this theatre to the managing director of NFDC Nina Lath.“The objective of the centre is to understand and promote cinema in a holistic way, and not just to screen films. It will give children an opportunity to understand theatre as well,” Lath said.An advisory committee will now be created and the committee will be involved in recommending programmes, suggesting time frames and priorities for the implementation of approved plans and programmes, monitoring and conducting evaluations of the programmes and recommending procedure for change as a result of the evaluation and investigating the need for new programmes for the said centre.“I am glad this theatre is finally materialising since citizens have been deprived of it for so long,” said Asif Zakaria, local corporator, who was also present on the occasion.NFDC will now have to renovate and upgrade the structure according to its needs before it is opened to the public later this year.