BHUBANESWAR: Even as the Sports Department’s proposal to convert Kalinga Studio as a sports complex raised a controversy, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday said he will take up the matter related to revival of the defunct studio with the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry.
“I will discuss the issue with I&B Minister Smriti Irani and request her to provide financial assistance for infrastructure development of the studio with state-of-the-art technology,” Dharmendra tweeted.
Stating that the Kalinga Studio is closely associated with the sentiments of Odia artistes, he said development of the studio will improve their livelihood.
Meanwhile, the Sports Department’s move has met with stiff opposition from Odisha Film Development Corporation (OFDC) and Odia film industry. “The studio comes under the jurisdiction of OFDC besides it is linked with the emotion of the entire Odia movie industry. We are not in a position to spare it for any purpose other than film making,” OFDC chairman Munna Khan said.
Similarly, noted Ollywood actor Mihir Das came down heavily on the State Government. “It is unfortunate that the Government has planned to develop a sports complex in the land of the studio. The Government has been promising for revival of the studio after it was badly damaged in 1999 super cyclone. It turns out to be a false promise,” Das said. In a letter to the General Administration Department, Sports and Youth Affairs Secretary Vishal Dev had proposed construction of a sports complex on vacant premises of Kalinga Studio.
Reacting to the Union Minister’s tweet, Industries Minister Ananta Das said the land allotted to Kalinga Studio belongs to the General Administration. The Chief Minister will take a final call on this matter, he added.