Alleging that some vested interests are trying to grab the Kuchipudi Art Academy land that was allotted to the Kuchipudi Kalakshetram by the government, academy secretary Vempati Venkatachalapathi has claimed the involvement of a few influential persons in the episode.

Mr. Venkatachalapathi on Saturdat told the media that his father Vempati China Satyam, a Kuchipudi maestro and Padma Bhushan awardee, had established the art academy in Chennai in 1963, with the support of the then Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.G. Ramachandran.

With the objective of training students and promoting Kuchipudi in Visakhapatnam, the then District Collector issued orders in 1983, allocating land near the Visakha Valley School for setting up of the Kuchipudi Kalakshetram.

The Kuchipudi Kalakshetram was opened in 1988 and functioned by that name till 2016. Several students and even dance trainers from the institution had brought glory to the dance form in India and abroad, he said.

Tax arrears

“I took over the responsibility of the institute after the death of my father in 2012. A former principal and some board members had indulged in the misappropriation of funds by not paying the property tax to the GVMC for some years, resulting in the accumulation of arrears to the tune of Rs. 11 lakh that resulted in the closure of the institute,” he said.

Subsequently, Mr. Venkatachalapathi said, he removed the name ‘Kuchupudi Kalakshetram’ and started Kuchipudi training classes on the ‘original’ name Kuchipudi Arts Academy.

“Now, some vested interests have been trying to grab the land allotted to the institute,” Mr. Venkatachalapathi alleged.

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