Connoisseurs of folk art and culture will soon have a new haven in the city, with the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation’s (MTDC) long-pending dream of setting up a Kalagram centre is likely to finally materialise, with the body having earmarked eight acres of land in Film City, Goregaon. The centre will showcase the state’s indigenous arts and culture.
“The motive behind the project is to attract international tourists. It is meant to be a platform for the display of Indian art and craft. This project will help boost tourism, helping us demonstrate Maharashtra’s folk culture and art. We will soon get started with this project,” said Dilip Shinde, joint managing director, MTDC.
This is not the first time that the tourism corporation has planned this kind of venture. Back in July 2008, the then chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh had given specific instructions to MTDC to get cracking on the project. The body had then earmarked Rs 5.5 crore for the same. However, hurdles cropped up when the land demarcated for the project was demanded by the State Urban Development Department for the construction of a helipad. MTDC was then given the green signal to set up Kalagram on the two-acre MHADA plot near Rangsharda in Bandra (West). But the plan lapsed into a state of limbo.
“We are now expecting the project to take place as soon as possible. It will be a major tourist attraction. As after a day of sightseeing across the city, tourists can enjoy the evening with Maharashtra’s cultural folk dance and art. We are planning to rope in artists from the interiors of the state. Kalagram will especially help us woo foreign tourists,who usually only visit Mumbai before moving on to other states in India,” said Shinde. A similar project has already been started in Aurangabad by the corporation with the help of the union ministry of tourism.