The week began with the Tamil Nadu government issuing an order granting permission for 100% occupancy in theatres. However, on Friday evening the state withdrew the order and said that it will continue with the earlier cap of 50% occupancy.
The withdrawal from the state government comes two days after the Central Government raised objection over the new order. In a letter from Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, it read that the state should scrap the order as it was not complying to MHA guidelines. In October 2020, the Union Ministry had allowed theatres to operate at 50% occupancy and the same has been extended till January 31, 2021.
"State/UT governments shall not dilute these guidelines... in any manner and shall strictly enforce the same," the letter read.
The announcement from Tamil Nadu government to increase occupancy in cinema halls came a week after actor Vijay and the team of the upcoming film Master met with the TN Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami. Reportedly, during the meeting they requested to allow 100 % seating capacity in theatres ahead of the release of their film. Directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj, Master will be released on January 13.
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