shiba nanda basu
KOLKATA, 16 JUNE: With Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee no more a regular visitor to Nandan, the hall has become a victim of negligence with foot lights and exit lights remaining defunct for the past three days. Even films are being showed without censor certificate display.
A source at Nandan said that the foot lights, which are installed at the lower portion of the chairs, and exit lights, identifying the exit way, remained defunct at Nandan-I for three consecutive days ~ 13, 14 and 15 June. While foot lights have been restored the exit lights still remain defunct. This caused great inconvenience to the audience as they found it difficult to locate chairs in the darkness, especially in the balcony section, said Mr Debasish Das who went to watch Meghe Dhaka Tara yesterday.
On 14 June an elderly man, who came to watch a film, first raised the issue and protested the matter which caused a heated argument with the authorities. A senior staff at Nandan said that the old man protested the matter and said that he never experienced such negligence. The old man even said that this is against the Cinema Regulation Act which includes norms for public safety. A senior staff of Nandan said that for the first few days the authorities of Nandan were installing LED lights in the foot lights, replacing bulbs, which consume more power. But while the process is taking a longer time, the authorities did not care to provide alternate arrangements, the staff said. "There were only few lights functional in the lower portion of the hall and the entire balcony is without any foot light. This is not only causing inconvenience to the spectators but also to the staff who are assisting them. The absence of exit lights is even more dangerous since this could result in devastating consequence during an emergency," the staff said.
A few days ago film maker Haranath Chakraborty rebuked the hall authorities for not displaying censor card at the beginning of a movie. "Haranath Chakraborty said that films that come without any such card should not be displayed as screening it is against the rules," said the staff.  Nandan-III, too, has become a nightmare for spectators as the acrid smell of insecticide, which was spread a few months ago during the replacement of its ceiling, is still present in the hall. "Initially the smell was so strong that it caused nausea and headache," said the staff.  Staff at Nandan alleged that during the Left Front regime the then CM, Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee used to be a regular visitor. "This was a big factor for authorities to keep the hall in perfect shape and to conduct maintenance work regularly," the staff said. Mr Jadav Mondal, the CEO of Nandan, said that he was out of town and was not aware of the matter. Mr Amit Mondal, the accounts officer, could not be contacted despite several attempts.