Pimpri-Chinchwad: Lalit Kala Akademi’s Regional Centre to Come Up In Place Of Balnagri Project

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Pimpri-Chinchwad, January 21, 2021: The proposed Central Government’s Lalit Kala Akademi will be coming up in place of the Balnagari project which was intended to be constructed with a concept of a children’s theme park and planetarium in the Pimpri-Chinchwad area.

After four years of continuous follow-ups by the art community, the centre had finally approved of setting up a ‘Regional Centre of Lalit Kala Akademi’ in Maharashtra in November 2020 and Pune has been assigned to host it. A land of 15 acres has been sanctioned for constructing the academy in the Pimpri-Chinchwad area.

The area of the Balnagari project was likely to be developed has been assigned to build Lalit Kala Akademi now. Phase I of the Balnagari project was completed on May 25, 2018. However, it was awaiting a response over the ‘expression of interest’ invite, but received no response at all. The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has already spent Rs 20 crore in constructing phase I of the project. But now it seems the project has been shelved. Instead of this project, space will be given for the regional center of Lalit Kala Akademi of the Central Government.

The vacant plot of land under the J block of Bhosari MIDC was transferred from Municipal Corporation in 1984 through possession receipt. The area is 60,378 square meters. Project development was initiated by the Department of Architecture with the proposed reservation development on this plot.

The Balnagari project was constructed to provide information on services and institutions imparting general knowledge in various fields, mainly with the theme of child education. In the project, the set up of a fire station, hospital, banking, police station, post office, amphitheatre and many more were proposed for the education of children.

Many art colleges from various cities in Maharashtra including reputed institutes like Bombay Art Society had put up a request with the Central Government to start a regional centre of the National Academy of Art in the state. Against this backdrop, the president of the academy Uttam Pacharne along with various representatives from Maharashtra visited the project site in July. They requested that the site should be allotted to the Lalit Kala Akademi through the civic administration and the State Government stating it to be ‘very suitable for the construction of the Regional Center of Lalit Kala Akademi’.

As the land for the project has been transferred free of cost from MIDC, it will be necessary to get the approval of MIDC as well as the state government before transferring. About 5000 square meters of construction has been done in this place till now. The building is usable and future construction will be funded by the Lalit Kala Academy. However, the General Body has approved the transfer of the existing construction. With the approval of the state government, the ruling BJP approved the construction of the project.

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