Proposed renovation: city multiplex to undergo ‘major changes’

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Panaji: The city multiplex will undergo major changes as a part of its proposed renovation, making way for a new structure, with the entire work to be completed in next six months.

Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat has taken strong objection to this decision stating that “after demolishing the Goan film industry since 2012, the Extravagant Society of Goa, is now on a demolition drive of the multiplex at Campal to create new structure.”

He has also demanded that the Chief Minister Pramod Sawant needs to intervene and stop the wasteful expenditure as also release a White Paper on the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) and the Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG).

Meanwhile, ESG vice-chairman Subhash Phaldesai told this daily that the existing facade of the city multiplex, which was constructed in 2004, would not be changed in any way.

“It is not a structural demolition, but total renovation of the theatre,” he added, pointing out that the main structure of the cinema house would not be harmed in any way.

It may be recalled that the Kala Academy complex, which too is an IFFI venue was also slated to be demolished to make way for the new construction. However, the Charles Correa Foundation approached the court of law and since then this prestigious art and culture centre is awaiting its demolition/ renovation.

Speaking further, Phaldesai said that the interiors of the city multiplex, including its seats, flooring and so on would be replaced, as also latest technology in projection installed.

“This refurbishment is required to take the multiplex to an international standard, especially, as this theatre is a venue for the IFFI,” he added, observing that after renovation, multiplex would be more comfortable for the audiences.

The ESG vice-chairman also said that the major renovation of the multiplex is expected to be completed by September, as the technical committee would conduct its inspection in October in view of the IFFI 2020.

“The contract for running the operations of the multiplex was awarded to M/s INOX Leisure Ltd through a tender and this operator would now carry out the refurbishment work, with no expenses incurred by the government,” Phaldesai informed, adding that the other bidder for the tender namely PVR Cinemas had approached the court of law.

“We, however, rejected the bid of the PVR Cinemas as its specifications were not up to the standard as per our requirement, secondly its financial bid was low, and finally, it failed to provide us with the working experience,” he noted, stating that therefore, M/s INOX Leisure Ltd was again chosen as the operator of the multiplex.

Phaldesai further said that now the government would receive an amount of Rs 54 lakh per month from M/s INOX Leisure Ltd as against the previous amount of Rs 20 lakh per month.

He also said that security amount of Rs 4 crore would also be deposited by the company with the ESG.

It was also informed that over and above receiving a monthly amount of Rs 54 lakh, there would be an annual increase of 5 per cent in this amount.   

A Pune-based consultancy firm, M/s Gensys Technologies Pvt Ltd has already been appointed by the government for providing integrated services for the renovation/refurbishment of the multiplex.

The consultancy firm has carried out a site inspection of the multiplex as well as the scope of the work, and an interim report has been submitted.

Incidentally, the Leader of the Opposition has also pointed out that the government is yet to fulfil the promise of building IFFI Convention Centre and “suddenly this new idea is floated with surely some ulterior motives.

“On one side, government is taking loans and on the other side, unwarranted wasteful expenditures are done,” he added.