Warangal: For almost three decades, the Prataparudra Planetarium in Warangal district has sustained the enthusiasm of lakhs of young minds as they watched the mysteries of the universe unravel in front of their eyes.
The 40-minute cosmic shows of this planetarium were so popular that hundreds of students from various schools across the state visited the place, booking their slots in advance.
Today, the planetarium, located beside the musical garden in the GWMC office complex, looks like a storeroom with all kinds of material belonging to the civic body dumped into it.
Broken air conditioners, dripping rooftop, uneven floor and damaged chairs are what one can find now inside the theatre. No shows were run in the planetarium for last 5 years.
The German-made Skymaster ZKP-2 projector is found in one of the dark corners, dismantled and useless. It was purchased for Rs 35 lakh at that time.
"From 2007, frequent repairs to the projector disturbed the shows. Though we somehow managed using LCD projectors and CDs, the students lost interest as they missed the experience digital projector could give," said Prasad, caretaker of the planetarium.
By 2011, lack of funds to buy a new projector halted the shows at the planetarium completely and the apathy of the state government and the municipal corporation continues even to this day.
Established in 1983, this planetarium was only the second to come up in united Andhra Pradesh after the Gandhi Planetarium in Vijayawada and gained immense popularity. The famous Birla Planetarium in Hyderabad was established in 1985.
Director of the planetarium G. Ravi Kiran Reddy told Deccan Chronicle they have appealed to the new civic body to look into the issues in the planetarium.