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Proper landscaping of Dighali Pukhuri sought

By Staff reporter

GUWAHATI, July 8 � Barely a kilometre away from the official city centre, Dighali Pukhuri is not just a physical feature, but a landmark that has not changed over the years. Now voices are emerging for the historic tank and its adjacent area to be showcased as a model of urban renewal where art, heritage and culture can come alive. Those who spoke to The Assam Tribune agree that Dighali Pukhuri can indeed be transformed into a tourist spot with a wide array of attractions.

Eminent academic Prof Dilip Barua believes that efforts to develop the area should not lose sight of the historic and cultural value of the landscape. �It can be an attractive tourist destination with proper landscaping and an aesthetically designed kiosk can dispense information to visitors,� he remarked.

The historian, late Dipankar Banerjee had once told this correspondent that the site of Dighali Pukhuri can easily be used to focus on the heritage of Guwahati. �A well planned open air exhibition can have information and artifacts on permanent display� temporary exhibits can attract more people from time to time�.

According to the historian who had also produced a book on the city�s heritage, the area around the ancient tank is ideally suited for tourists to have a glimpse of the art and culture scene. �The artist community can come up with great ideas to transform the space into something vibrant.�

For a long time, the Fisheries Department has maintained an office on the north bank of Dighali Pukhuri. It can play a role in highlighting the importance of water bodies inside urban settlements, mentioned an official of the department. �With insights from local experts, we can develop a large aquarium close to the tank that contains native fish species, some of which are already endangered.�

Engineer Hiten Sarma, a local resident who has spent more than four decades in a nearby locality, says that the historical roots of the tank should be revealed to all those who come to Dighali Pukhuri. Statues of Bir Bhagadatta and his daughter Bhanumati beside the tank with accompanying plaques can enlighten people about their historic links to the water body.

He also favours the idea of an orchid park and an artists� corner, two attractions which will enthrall the old and young alike. Artists can even be encouraged to paint on location, something that is not witnessed in any part of the city till now.

Any project to develop the area should address the issue of accessibility for the physically challenged and the elderly, asserts Arman Ali, executive director of Shishu Sarothi. �The layout should be such that all the amenities have inclusive designs which will be friendly to the disabled and the elderly,� he noted. Currently not many urban spaces in Guwahati are designed with the needs of the disabled and the elderly in mind.

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Proper landscaping of Dighali Pukhuri sought

GUWAHATI, July 8 � Barely a kilometre away from the official city centre, Dighali Pukhuri is not just a physical feature, but a landmark that has not changed over the years. Now voices are emerging for the historic tank and its adjacent area to be showcased as a model of urban renewal where art, heritage and culture can come alive. Those who spoke to The Assam Tribune agree that Dighali Pukhuri can indeed be transformed into a tourist spot with a wide array of attractions.

Eminent academic Prof Dilip Barua believes that efforts to develop the area should not lose sight of the historic and cultural value of the landscape. �It can be an attractive tourist destination with proper landscaping and an aesthetically designed kiosk can dispense information to visitors,� he remarked.

The historian, late Dipankar Banerjee had once told this correspondent that the site of Dighali Pukhuri can easily be used to focus on the heritage of Guwahati. �A well planned open air exhibition can have information and artifacts on permanent display� temporary exhibits can attract more people from time to time�.

According to the historian who had also produced a book on the city�s heritage, the area around the ancient tank is ideally suited for tourists to have a glimpse of the art and culture scene. �The artist community can come up with great ideas to transform the space into something vibrant.�

For a long time, the Fisheries Department has maintained an office on the north bank of Dighali Pukhuri. It can play a role in highlighting the importance of water bodies inside urban settlements, mentioned an official of the department. �With insights from local experts, we can develop a large aquarium close to the tank that contains native fish species, some of which are already endangered.�

Engineer Hiten Sarma, a local resident who has spent more than four decades in a nearby locality, says that the historical roots of the tank should be revealed to all those who come to Dighali Pukhuri. Statues of Bir Bhagadatta and his daughter Bhanumati beside the tank with accompanying plaques can enlighten people about their historic links to the water body.

He also favours the idea of an orchid park and an artists� corner, two attractions which will enthrall the old and young alike. Artists can even be encouraged to paint on location, something that is not witnessed in any part of the city till now.

Any project to develop the area should address the issue of accessibility for the physically challenged and the elderly, asserts Arman Ali, executive director of Shishu Sarothi. �The layout should be such that all the amenities have inclusive designs which will be friendly to the disabled and the elderly,� he noted. Currently not many urban spaces in Guwahati are designed with the needs of the disabled and the elderly in mind.