Nashik: Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan announced in the state legislature recently that the Nashik house where Dadasaheb Phalke, the founder of Indian cinema industry, lived, will be converted into a national memorial.
The only hitch in the plan could be that the house no longer exists.
There is a black marble plaque pointing out the place in Gole colony in Ashok Stambh area of city where Phalke`s house once stood.
What stands there now is `Janakashram`, a four-storey 10-year-old building, which houses a commercial complex and an apartment owned by Phalke`s grandson, Deepak Phalke.
According to Madhukar Zende, senior official of the Nashik Municipal Corporation, Phalke leased this plot of land from Professor Gole in 1939, and constructed a small bungalow which he named Janakashram.
Phalke produced 99 silent movies, 30 documentaries and a talkie `Gangavataran` in his career, before his death in 1944.
A few years ago, Deepak Phalke acquired the land from Gole family for redevelopment after the lease expired.
Phalke family had an ancestral house in the temple-town of Trimbakeshwar near here, but it was sold off. The civic body has constructed a memorial to him on the Mumbai-Agra Road.
"As no house belonging to Phalke is left, the government should upgrade this existing memorial," Zende said.
Phalke also owned lands in Anandvalli and Sunderban areas of Nashik, but they were later sold off by the family.