Mumbai: Soon, BMC-owned theatres may have cell phone jammers

Updated: 09 December, 2019 07:50 IST | A correspondent | Mumbai

"Something has to be done to stop nuisance created by mobiles during the play and performances. Jammers will allow the audience to enjoy the show peacefully," Mhatre said

The Kalidas Natya Mandir at Mulund
The Kalidas Natya Mandir at Mulund

Pradnya Dongaonkar, a resident of Dadar, has a complaint that will resonate with most theatre and cinema goers. "It is really annoying when a mobile phone rings in middle of the show. A fine should be levied on people who flout the norms and instructions of ensuring to keep mobile phone on silence mode or shut it down completely." While a fine may be far away, there might be a prevention soon, in at least theatres owned by the civic body.

Citing that mobile phone interruptions have become a common nuisance during live performance at auditoriums and theatres, in its general body meeting, the BMC passed a resolution to install jammers. The proposal was mooted by Shiv Sena corporator Shital Mhatre, on July 25, 2019. The proposal which the BMC has agreed to consider will now be announced to invite suggestions and objections.

"Something has to be done to stop nuisance created by mobiles during the play and performances. Jammers will allow the audience to enjoy the show peacefully," Mhatre said.

But, not everyone is okay with the idea. Ajit Bhure, a theatre personality who heads association of commercial play producers, says, "Sometimes people make mistakes but no one does it deliberately. Jamming an entire theatre will create major issues. It will not cut the network of the people but also for artistes for four hours. If there's an emergency during this time, how will people know?" Bhure instead suggested creating awareness of mobile manners.

However, once a jammer is installed at a theatre, it won't be a permanent feature. "After getting necessary approvals from the central government, the BMC will go ahead with its plans. Even if the jammers are installed the facilities will be made available only if the request for same is made by theatres and producers, associations or organisers. The request needs to be made in writing," the administration mentioned in its letter.

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First Published: 09 December, 2019 07:09 IST

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