HYDERABAD: This is a story of a conscientious citizen, who used his awareness of the rules to report a violation and got it fixed while most other citizens observe a violation but prefer to ignore it. Bharat Guniganti, a resident of Chandrapuri Colony, LB Nagar Crossroads and a regular movie-goer, often noticed that all theatres including multiplexes did not provide free drinking water but sold bottled drinking water, priced higher than the MRP.
The 30-year-old, a trainer by profession, went back to the rule book and found that in the license code for theatres, as per AP Cinemas Regulation Rule 1970, all theatres “must” provide free drinking water and if they don’t, the license authority can fine them up to Rs 10,000 and if they still fail to do so they can charge them Rs 200 per day. He then approached the Rachakonda police Commissionerate through their WhatsApp initiative, wherein any citizen who wishes to lodge a complaint, can text them. The police officials referred the rule book and went on to direct the theatres to provide the facility. With much efforts put in by Bharat, BVK multiplex at LB Nagar Crossroads have now made arrangements for free water.
“This is just the beginning”, said Bharat. “I frequently visit BVK multiplex, I realised that the theatre management wasn’t providing free drinking water to their customers. I read the terms and conditions of ‘Andhra Pradesh Cinemas (Regulation) Rules, 1970’ on a public data website called Factly. I found that one of the licensing conditions for cinema theatres is providing drinking water for ‘Free of Cost’ but in reality, this did not exist!”
Incidentally, the state government had repeatedly issued several orders in the past regarding this, but theatres have conveniently ignored these orders. Bharat further added, “I filed a complaint with Rachakonda police Commissionerate on March 29 and the Authority that issues licenses to theatres. Meanwhile, Rachakonda police officials were quick to revert on my issue and passed it on to LB Nagar police limits. Police inspector P. Kasi Reddy called me to inquire about the issue and asked details information on the rules.
The inspector then called the management and instructed them to provide water and warned them that if they failed to do so, an official notice would be issued. The management immediately set up a drinking water kiosk and sent the inspector a picture as proof.” Bharat has been able to arrange free water facility at Miraj theatre near Dilshuknagar as well, by requesting the management....