Organising college fests might be banned at the Nazrul Mancha in South Kolkata from now onwards.
A decision to this effect is being considered following the poor crowd management at the fest organised by Kolkata-based Gurudas College on Tuesday evening, in which playback singer Krishnakumar Kunnath, popularly known as KK, performed in what turned out to be his last concert. The 53-year-old singer died soon after finishing the concert after complaining of uneasiness.
A team of Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA), the controlling authority of Nazrul Mancha, led by KMDA’s Director General Supriyo Maiti inspected the infrastructure of the venue on Wednesday afternoon.
The team suggested banning college fests there, Kolkata Mayor and state Transport Minister Firhad Hakim informed on Wednesday evening.
It is learnt that although the capacity of Nazrul Mancha is limited to 2,700 to 3,000, on Thursday evening, a crowd of around 6,000 thronged the venue, with many watching the show either sitting on the staircases or standing on the wings.
The KMDA team is of the opinion that the overcrowded venue reduced the effect of the air-conditioning machines, creating suffocation.
According to Hakim, because of the immense popularity of KK, youngsters came in large numbers to wacth the concert.
“The KMDA authorities have requested that the venue should not be allotted for college fests any more. They have also said that many chairs of the venue are found to be damaged after each college show as the crowd tends to dance standing on them. However, we are yet to take a final decision on this count,” said Hakim, who is also the KMDA Chairman by virtue being the Mayor.
Hakim, however, ruled out the malfunctioning of the air-conditioning machines ay Nazrul Mancha.
“If a crowd more than double the capacity enters the venue, what is the fault of the machines,” he asked.