Friday, June 26, 2009

NAPA issued notice to vacate Hindu Gymkhana

KARACHI: Sindh Minister for Culture and Tourism Sassui Palejo informed the Sindh Assembly on Thursday that a notice has been issued to the National Academy of Performing Arts’ (NAPA) management, asking them to vacate the premises, rented out by the culture department in 2005.

Replying to a question by Arif Mustafa Jatoi during the question hour, the minister explained that the Hindu Gymkhana, situated opposite the Arts Council, on MR Kiyani Road is a protected building, declared so by the Sindh Cultural Heritage Preservation Act 1994.

In September 2005, according to directives of the then president of Pakistan, Hindu Gymkhana was rented out to Zia Mohiuddin for a period of thirty years for establishment of the NAPA. An agreement was signed by Mohiuddin, on behalf of NAPA and the secretary culture, on behalf of the Sindh government on September 23, 2005 whereby NAPA agreed to pay Rs 50,000 per month.

She said that in 2006, NAPA started construction of a theatre/auditorium within the premises of Hindu Gymkhana. Since the building protected under the Cultural Heritage Act 1994, NAPA was required to obtain an NOC from the Advisory Committee for Cultural Heritage. However, it got the NOC from KBCA for the addition alterations to the building.

NAPA in violation of KBCA’s permission and the terms and conditions of agreement started a new construction.

She said on the advice of the law department and in pursuance of clause-8 of the agreement executed between department and NAPA, on September 13, 2008, a three months notice was given to NAPA regarding the termination of the agreement, dated September 23, 2005.

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