Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao announced on Sunday that relief measures will be given to the Telugu film industry, that has been severely impacted due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the consequent lockdown.
He has assured his help to the sector in the form of waivers on electricity charges on cinemas and theatres. Films made under a budget of Rs 10 crore will also be exempted from the State Goods and Services Tax.
The step came as the Telangana Rashtra Samithi released its election manifesto and announced the reopening of cinemas with 50% seating capacity outside containment zones with immediate effect from November 23. However, the decision whether to reopen cinemas from December or from Sankranti, 2021 will be taken by the film fraternity.
The precautionary measures include wearing masks by the staff, vendors and audience, availability of hand sanitisers at entry and exit points, maintaining social distancing, and sanitising the premises after every screening. Temperature of air conditioning devices in the premises should be set between 24 to 30 degrees Celsius. Relative humidity of the premises should be within 40 to 70%. The management will have to ensure that the re-circulation of air is avoided as much as possible, as per a report by The News Minute.
The Twitter handle of the Telangana chief minister’s office on November 22 posted a thread that showed that a meeting was held to revive the film industry in Hyderabad. The city is one of the entertainment hubs of the country, apart from Mumbai and Chennai.
The team also uploaded a photo of a meeting at Pragathi Bhavan, the official residence of the chief minister, that was attended by members of the film fraternity to discuss the damages incurred and possible relief measures. The delegation was attended by Film Chamber president CS Somesh Kumar, actors Chiranjeevi and Nagarjuna, general secretaries Narayan Das Narang, and KL Damodar Prasad, Producers’ Association president C Kalyan, and film distributor Sudhakar Reddy.
Cinemas and theatres in Telangana have been shut for over eight months now. While the Centre had allowed cinemas across the country to reopen from October 15, state governments were hesitant due to lack of footfall and expensive maintenance charges. While cinemas in various parts of the country have reopened, single screens are threatened by thinning audiences and thus, fear of shutting down.