GUWAHATI, March 2 - The detailed project report (DPR) for conservation of the historic Bezbaroa House at Sambalpur in Odisha has been completed and the restoration cost of the two structures is estimated at Rs 3.24 crore.
The estimated cost includes conservation of the living house and the office or Sadhana Griha of Bezbaroa.
Revealing this, sources in Odisha told The Assam Tribune that the DPR � prepared by the Engineering section of INTACH under the leadership of engineer Mallika Mitra, Chief of Conservation, INTACH, Odisha � had been submitted to the Department of Culture and Tourism, Government of Odisha.
�After examination of the DPR and its approval by the National Conservation Head of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), New Delhi, the DPR has been submitted to the Department of Culture and Tourism, Government of Odisha. A copy of the DPR has also been given to Samarth Verma, Collector, Sambalpur,� sources said.
Earlier, the Odisha government had released Rs 50 lakh as the first instalment for the project.
According to sources, Verma has shown keen interest in the conservation of the Bezbaroa House.
�He has been emphasizing that the Odisha government should bear the entire cost of the project. The two houses will remain in two parallel traffic islands within the rotary which is coming up at the Mandela Square,� sources said.
Earlier last year, the Sambalpur district administration had planned to demolish the two structures for widening the road and the chowk � something resisted strongly by local senior journalist and cultural researcher Deepak Panda, who heads the Bezbaroa Smruti Sadan fighting for the restoration of the heritage.
Social activist and former Director of PPC, NE, Doordarshan, Deben Tamuly who made a documentary on the Bezbaroa House and who has been involved with the Bezbaroa House restoration initiative, said that with the process for restoration of the structures, it would amount to paying true homage to the legendary writer who shaped modern Assamese literature.
It was at Sambalpur nearly a century back where Bezbaroa � regarded as the greatest Assamese litterateur � spent around two decades to look after his official and business ventures, but more importantly, it was a period that was substantially productive in terms of his creative accomplishments.
Much of his monumental contributions to Assamese literature were achieved during his stay at the �Bezbaroa Kuthi� by River Mahanadi. He was also inspired by the beauty of the Mahanadi, its surroundings and the life of its simple people � all of which have been recorded with rare insight and poignancy in his works.
Bezbaroa, who stayed at Sambalpur for about two decades, was also its Municipal Board Chairman once, and his photo is still there at the municipality office.