Warangal: Dumping yard c/o Pothana Vignana Peetham

Pothana Vignana Peetham Open Air Theatre
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Pothana Vignana Peetham Open Air Theatre

Highlights

Before Orugallu transformed into Warangal, the region has not only seen the best of the best sculptors, but also gave birth to several great poets.

Warangal: Before Orugallu transformed into Warangal, the region has not only seen the best of the best sculptors, but also gave birth to several great poets.

Bammera Pothana (1450 - 1510), who translated Sanskrit epic Srimad Bhagavatham into Telugu, stands tall among them. While a tourism project is taking shape with an estimated cost of Rs 40 crore in Bammera, a tiny village 55 kms south of Warangal, the birthplace of Pothana, it's exactly opposite in Warangal city, the cultural capital of Telangana. The Open-Air Theatre christened as Pothana Vignana Peetham located at the heart of Warangal city is not only shambles but also metamorphosed into a dumping yard.

The then Technical Education Minister T Hayagreeva Chary inaugurated the theatre on March 12, 1982. The then External Affairs Minister PV Narasimha Rao (PV), who wanted to organise the Panchasati Utsavams of Pothana, was instrumental in constructing the open-air theatre with the magnanimity of the Central and State governments and the philanthropists on a piece of land provided by the municipality.

The five-day Panchasati Utsavams was a huge success. The former Vice-President Mohammad Hidayatullah was the chief guest. Greats in their own right like Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna, Dasarathi and Nataraja Ramakrishna and Sankarabharanam movie fame JV Somayajulu were among a host of other distinguished personalities who participated in the Utsavams.

Two decades later, a legal tangle ensued between the Pothana Vignana Peetham Trust and the municipality when the latter wanted to take possession of the facility under the pretext that land belonged to it. Later, the municipal authorities started to dump waste on the premises.

Speaking to The Hans India, Trust secretary Namilikonda Balakishan Rao, who is fighting for the revival of Vignana Peetham untiringly, said, "Although we have got an assurance from several people's representatives, none of them was able to resolve the issue. We need strong political support to revive the open air theatre to run cultural programmes. There seems to be no solution in sight"

The residents of Pothana Nagar have also been raising a hue and cry over dumping waste in the middle of the city; however, the municipal authorities turned a deaf ear to their request.

Plaque Photos: G Shyam Kumar


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