The Assam Government to acquire Bezbaroa’s Odisha house

The Assam Government is going to acquire the Sambalpur (Odisha) residence of Lakshminath Bezbaroa, the doyen of Assamese literature, for converting it into a memorial.

Presiding over a meeting held in this connection at Raj Bhawan yesterday, Governor JB Patnaik underscored the need to convert the Sambalpur residence of Bezbaroa into a memorial, and directed the State Government to take immediate steps to buy or acquire the plot of land housing Bezbaroa’s residence.

Bezbaroa stayed at the town of Sambalpur for 20 years from 1917 and 1937. During this period, the master litterateur produced the bulk of his literary works which shaped modern Assamese literature.

Patnaik said that the residence of Bezbaroa was in a dilapidated condition and that the State Government must take urgent steps to buy or acquire the plot (M.S. Khata No. 142 of Sambalpur town, Unit No. 4) from the present owner, Nanda Kishore Poddar, within the month of May, 2013.

“This particular house of the late literary genius at Sambalpur is lying in a state of neglect. Therefore, it is the duty of the people of Assam to develop this house into a memorial in the memory of the great author,” he said.

The meet decided that the Cultural Affairs Department, Govt of Assam, should move a proposal for Rs 4 crore to be approved from the Contingency Fund as it was not earmarked in the current year’s Budget.

The Commissioner & Secretary, Cultural Affairs Department, was asked to prepare and send the proposal to the Finance/Planning & Development Department for approval under the Contingency Fund so that the sanction could be issued within the deadline of May 8, 2013. He assured the meeting that the Director, Cultural Affairs, would accompany the Trade Adviser & Director of Movement, Kolkata to Sambalpur for registration formalities, etc.

It was decided in the meeting that the Trade Adviser & Director of Movement, Assam, Assam Bhawan, Kolkata, would complete the formalities of registration of the land and building at Sambalpur and will also depute a PWD engineer from Kolkata for the development of the land, boundary wall and gate, etc., in the first phase and a memorial in the second phase.

The Additional Chief Secretary suggested the incorporation of the cost towards security of the premises (deploying home guards with the help of the DC/SP, Sambalpur) and the cost of immediate repairing, renovation, etc., in the initial proposal.

The Governor also mooted the idea of having an MoU or tie-up with the local Sahitya Sabha for upkeep and maintenance of the memorial at a later stage.

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