Badami House demolition soon as government loses ownership battle

Badami House demolition soon as government loses ownership battle

Badami House, Bengaluru’s iconic stone building associated with the Kannada film industry, is all set to be demolished.

Bux Ranka Developers, which recently won a court case over the ownership of Badam House, has decided to raze the building and construct a new structure in its place.

“The demolition will begin soon. We have begun the process of shifting the Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy (KCA) to the Amrutha Mahotsava Bhavan in Nandini Layout,” S V Rajendra Singh Babu, President, KCA, told DH.

The KCA, an autonomous body funded by the state government, currently operates out of Badami House.

H B Dinesh, Registrar, KCA, said: “Amrutha Mahotsava Bhavan has a library, preview theatre and the film unit of the Department of Information.” It was constructed over 2.5 acres of land to mark the 75 years of the Kannada film industry.

Badami House, constructed during the British Raj, was originally owned by George Oakes and housed British and American libraries.

Sound recordist-cum-filmmaker Sarvottam Badami bought it from Oakes and later sold it to Bux Ranka Developers.

But its ownership was questioned in courts. Finally, the Supreme Court awarded it to Bux Ranka Developers on the condition that sufficient time should be given to the KCA to vacate the building and until then, it should pay monthly rent to the owners.

Badami House’s Priyadarshini preview theatre regularly organised premier film shows in the 80s. Dr Rajkumar, Dr Vishnuvardhan, Shyam Benegal, P Lankesh, Girish Karnad and M S Sathyu were among those who regularly dropped in to watch films.

The KCA moved into Badami House upon its inception in 2006.

Kannada activist and former MLA Vatal Nagaraj blamed successive governments for losing the building. As chairman of the Legislature Subjects Committee, he said, he had recommended to the government to buy out the building from the owners. “Even now, the government should make efforts to buy it,” he said and also suggested that the government file a review petition before the Supreme Court.

DH News Service

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