Film Nagar Cultural Complex which is supposed to be built atop Thotlakonda faces trouble. The foundation stone for the Film Nagar was laid last month by State HRD Minister Ganta Srinivas Rao and Movie Artistes’ Association President and Tollywood actor Rajendra Prasad.
The cultural complex was planned to be built on a land of 15 acres with the cost of Rs. 100 crore. The complex would have a Convention hall, a sports complex and an advanced gymnasium.
Thotlakonda was a home for Buddhists in the 3rd century BC. This Buddhist heritage site is among the major tourist attractions of the city. It has also been declared as an archaeologically sensitive area. Following the news of a cultural complex being built on this site, it has hurt the feelings of Buddhist monks. Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) members and a few conservation activists have protested against the exploitation of a heritage site for commercial purposes. Due to this, the government had decided to build a road through the heritage site. For now, the project has been kept on hold.
Earlier, Mr. Rajendra had said that building a Film Nagar would encourage the Film Industry of Andhra Pradesh. It will also help the film industry of Odisha and West Bengal and hence increase tourism in Visakhapatnam.