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Karnataka: CM pacifies film industry, says 100% seating will continue

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BBMP Commissioner had proposed 50% seating amid second Covid wave fears

BENGALURU:

Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Friday evening came to the rescue of the Kannada film fraternity after BBMP’s proposal the previous day to restrict movie audiences to 50% of the theatre capacity had sent jitters down the industry’s spine.

Providing much relief to the cinema industry, Yediyurappa announced that there was no proposal before the state government to cut attendance by 50% in cinema halls.

The CM’s tweet at 5.48 pm reads: “There is no proposal before the state government to cut audience attendance by 50% in cinema halls. Audiences and theatre owners must abide by all necessary precautions and cooperate with the government to control the coronavirus.”

Puneeth’s angst

The CM’s tweet comes after Kannada film industry stars like Puneeth Rajkumar and Kiccha Sudeep opposed BBMP’s proposal to restrict audiences to 50% of the seating capacity.

Speaking to local Kannada news channels earlier, Puneeth had requested the state government with folded hands not to impose restrictions on seating capacity in cinema halls. He had demanded restrictions on political rallies and other political events where more people gather, and had pointed out that the cinema industry was one of the only sources of entertainment for people during the first lockdown imposed last year. “If at all a second wave (of Covid) forces another lockdown, the film industry should be exempted as it was the only industry which had provided entertainment during the earlier lockdown when everyone was at home. Thousands depend on the industry and it will be difficult for their survival if the government decides to limit the audience in cinema halls,” Puneeth said.

Govt’s call, says BBMP chief

Meanwhile, earlier in the day, BBMP commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad said providing alternate seating facilities in cinema halls could put some restrictions on large gatherings. “Cinema halls are one of the major crowded areas and the state government has to take a final call on it. BBMP is only the implementing authority for any decision taken by the state government,” said Prasad.

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