Gangtok, July 13, 2012:
The proposal to construct a new Multipurpose Cultural Centre at Gangtok was envisaged in the second tenure of the present Government. The old community centre was established in Chogyal era possibly during mid sixties with a total capacity of 200 persons. The technology adopted in construction then, was outdated in terms of the present technology, such as acoustical aspects, sound equipment and arrangements, stagecraft, lighting and seating arrangements etc. With the invention and availability of latest technology in cine-auditorium field, the proposal for construction of a modern day state of the art culture centre was conceived for rendering modern facilities to the growing populace of the State’s capital and the State as a whole. Subsequently, a comprehensive proposal was framed and was approved by the Government in the year 2004- 05 with the total cost of the project of Rs 34.25 crores.
The new Multipurpose Cultural Centre i.e. the Manan Kendra (name christened by the Chief Minister, Pawan Chamling), comprises of six storied building with a total plinth area of 1,45,000 sq ft which is one of the largest and prestigious structure in the whole of the North East Region with multipurpose facilities. The structure has been designed as per the prevailing code of practices duly incorporating seismic consideration. The fact that the structure withstood 18th September 2011 earthquake measuring 6.8 magnitude, in itself confirms to the soundness of the structure. Based on the exigency of 9/18 earthquake, this building now houses major part of the State’s administration by way of temporary conversion through addition/alteration.
The ground and first floor have been designed for parking of 120 cars at a time. Electrical Sub-station, pump house and drivers rest room are also accommodated in these floors. The second floor consists of mini theatre of 150 person’s capacity, separate dormitories for artists, 2 numbers of guest rooms, space for food court and practice hall and store for song and drama section of Culture Department. The state Central Library and its allied sections have also been accommodated in the 3rd floor level. The 4th and 5th floors contains the Main Auditorium offering total seating capacity of 1050 persons in all, separate Green rooms for ladies and gents, sound and electrical control rooms, offices of Sahitya Akademi, an art gallery, a mini conference hall, ticket counter and lounge for the VVIP’s, a pantry and toilets. An exclusive power substation has also been provided in the basement floor to cater to the power requirements of this huge complex.
This building has been designed keeping up with the latest code of practices for the barrier free provision for differently abled persons. The building has been installed with a six persons capacity lift for shutting in between parking lot and various floors. The complex has been armed with a combination of addressable fire detection and fire fighting arrangement system. The arrangements consist of wet raisers, hydrants, sprinklers and smoke detectors duly considering the requirements of the establishment as a whole. The entire complex has been designed by the Departmental Architects and Engineers and executed through a resourceful and reputed local contractor Meghraj Pradhan.
The main auditorium comprises of a lower gallery and a balcony with an area of 12000 sq ft and 4000 sq ft, respectively. The auditorium is armed with 8 doors, 2 entries and 6 exits in all. The hall has a total seating capacity of 1050 reclining seats manufactured and installed by Delhi based Rana Chairs, a reputed firm in the field of Cine-auditorium chairs in India.
The hall has been acoustically designed and treated to suit all kinds of stage performances and to achieve the best sound quality. The sound system of JBL make, one of the most trusted brands in the field of sonic world has been installed through Digital Acoustics, Kolkata, an associate partner of JBL sound for the North Eastern India. The line array system of installation has been followed to achieve uniform sound distribution and minimum distortion. The hall is equipped with Air conditioning System of Blue Star fame for both heating as well as cooling. The total capacity of the HVAC is 94 tonnes.
The stage with a performing floor area of 2000 sq ft has been well crafted to enable performers with modern facilities such as electric controlled curtain raisers; winch controlled state light holding bars and intermediate curtain bars. The stage is also provided with plug and play outlets to enable performers to save time and to do away with the setting up process each time. The lighting systems adopted and provided with effects are in consonance with the modern day requirements.