Bhubaneswar: Odisha government’s proposed plan to turn state’s only movie making facility – Kalinga Studio – into a Sports Complex has met with stiff opposition from various quarters.
This comes a day after Sports Secretary Vishal Kumar Dev wrote to General Department to allot vacant land of Kalinga Studio to build a sports complex for development of sports.
“Government is trying to set up Sports Complexes in and around Bhubaneswar. It is learnt that a vast stretch of land occupied by Kalinga Studio is lying vacant. Since Bhubaneswar is growing, development of Sports Complex at the site will cater to the needs of citizens of the area. GA&PG Department may please allot the unutilized vacant stretch of land of Kalinga Studio in favour of Sports & Youth Services Department for developing a Sports Complex at the site,” Vishal Dev wrote.
The move of the state government has been opposed by the Odisha Film Development Corporation (OFDC), cine artists and people from various walks of life.
“I cannot tell what prompted the Sports Department to shoot a letter in this regard. The studio was built to facilitate work related to film production. We cannot spare it for any purpose other than filmmaking,” OFDC Chairman Munna Khan said.
Speaking on these lines, the Ollywood fraternity too echoed similar views.
“We have been hearing since years that the state government would revive the Kalinga Studio. I came to know from media about the move. I don’t think it will go ahead with the plan. It provides livelihood to numerous people. Handing it over for some purpose without restoring the ailing studio is unreasonable. I urge government not to deal such a huge blow to the film industry,” veteran Ollywood actor Mihir Das expressed.
Notably, the studio has been mired in controversy over misappropriation and subsequent negligence in upkeep of once an ace set up.
“Since 1999, the studio is lying in a dilapidated state. The unit is almost non-operational. If government shifts the studio to another place and makes it operational for Sports Complex, it should serve both the purpose,” cine critic Dilip Hali opined.
In 1982, Kalinga Studio was built on an area of 25 acres on the outskirts of the capital city. The lone movie making facility in the state died a slow death due to lack of maintenance.