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Fight Back for Kala Academy

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  • Sandeep Heble
    Fight Back for Kala Academy (A pamphlet released on April 1, 2011. Courtesy - Former Ward Councillor Patricia Pinto) Kala Academy has plans to axe 30 age old
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 3, 2011
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      Fight Back for Kala Academy
      (A pamphlet released on April 1, 2011. Courtesy - Former Ward
      Councillor Patricia Pinto)

      Kala Academy has plans to axe 30 age old trees from its adjacent
      “Parking area” to build an annexe. Panjim is slowly losing its tree
      cover to give way to concrete structures. This tree cover at the Kala
      Academy complex lends beauty, shade and serenity not only to Kala
      Academy but to the entire surrounding area. Campal is known for its
      shady tree cover and specially when the entire world is concerned
      about rise in heal levels and global warming, we surely cannot afford
      to let any more of our City’s tree cover get destroyed in the name of
      “development”.

      The plans for the proposed Kala Academy annex which extend into the
      existing “parking space” spread over an area of 30000 sqft, which will
      house an auditorium, a board room, some offices, a Director’s cabin,
      drama/video rooms, library, etc.

      Everybody is aware that whenever functions are held in the present
      Kala Academy the traffic spills on into the streets outside, not only
      on the D.B. Marg but ironically on its footpaths too, besides clogging
      every lane of the Campal residential area opposite the Kala Academy.
      The traffic Police find it impossible to control the traffic and have
      even approached the management of Kala Academy vide their letter dated
      13 February 2009, not to permit exhibitions in their parking lot(Darya
      Sangam) as there is acute shortage of parking place in the Kala
      Academy as also the Capital City. Unfortunately, the Kala Academy
      authorities chose to ignore not only this plea of the Traffic Police
      but have gone a step further to propose a huge annexe in the parking
      lot.

      You may note that 307 parking spaces have been provided for existing
      Kala Academy structure as well as the new annexe. Calculate for
      yourself. One car carries four persons, a scooter two. The present
      auditorium has 954 seats, the open air amphitheatre has 1034 seats
      besides people attending exhibitions, consumer melas, music and dance
      classes as well as offices and the canteen, and add to that seats in
      the new auditorium and other spaces in the annexe. Are we heading for
      a disaster?

      Good planning should take into consideration the impact the proposed
      building would have on the surrounding space, its environment i.e. its
      tree cover as well as the people living or moving around. We feel that
      all this has been ignored and the authorities have been “pressurized”
      into issuing the necessary permissions without considering any of
      these aspects.

      It is also pertinent to note that the Kala Academy in spite of not
      being a Government Department but an autonomous body registered under
      the Societies Registration Act, has been exempted by the Forest
      Department from paying the fee required under the Tree Act. The Kala
      Academy has only been asked to plant “tree saplings” 3 times the
      number of trees to be cut within its complex. The Forest Department
      has not cared to find out whether there would be any space left within
      the Kala Academy Complex after building of the Annexe to plant 90
      “saplings” nor has it cared to specify the type of saplings to be
      planted as per the Act. On 25th of March 2011 three full grown coconut
      trees were uprooted for which no permission was obtained.

      And to top it all, it is important to note that though the Kala
      Academy has failed to clear its outstanding dues of a whopping 38
      lakhs owed to the CCP towards house tax for which the CCP has raised a
      demand notice, and even though the CCP has stopped picking up Kala
      Academy’s garbage for want of paying their garbage tax, the CCP has
      gone ahaead and issued a Construction license to the Kala Academy for
      yet another complex! Is the law only for the common man like you and
      me?

      The CCP has issued a stop work order for the moment. Do you think we
      should go all out to stop the felling of our beautiful trees? Do you
      have any suggestions to make? Would you like to get involved and be
      one of those making a difference to our city? If you think so email
      your suggestions on commonmanunity@... along with your phone
      number and we will compile the same and send it to the authorities.
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