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Renovation of Bezbaroa�s Sambalpur house begins

By Sivasish Thakur

GUWAHATI, Dec 9 - Even as the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) has started renovation and conservation work of the twin heritage houses of doyen of Assamese literature Lakshminath Bezbaroa at Sambalpur, the Assam Government has not been able to release the Rs. 50 lakh due to �non-cooperation� from its Odisha counterpart.

�Work has been in progress according to the plan by INTACH,� Deepak Panda, member of INTACH, Sambalpur chapter and convenor of the Lakshminath Bezbaroa Smruti Sansad, Sambalpur, told The Assam Tribune.

Panda said that the renovation work would comprise removal of the old plaster of the walls and stitching of the cracks besides complete overhaul of the roof of the building.

�We have set a target to complete the renovation work of the building within the six months,� he added.

The portrait of Bezbaroa, his literary works, old photographs, and artefacts of Odisha and Assam will be on display in the building after the renovation work is over.

On the other hand, refuting allegations that the Assam Government had not released the sanctioned fund of Rs. 50 lakh to the Odisha Government, Chief Advisor to the Chief Minister Hrishikesh Goswami said that despite repeated representations made by the Assam Government, the Odisha Government had not yet given it the bank account number for transfer of fund.

�We have taken up the matter with the Odisha Government at various levels but we have not been able to get the fund transferred to Odisha as we have not received the required bank account details from the Odisha Government,� he said.

Panda said that INTACH would renovate the second building � the residence of Bezbaroa � once renovation of the first building which was used as the writer�s office was complete.

During his stay in Sambalpur between 1917 and 1937, Bezbaroa owned two houses (one residence and the other his office) on a sprawling two-and-a-half acres estate by the Mahanadi. It was here the greatest Assamese literary figure produced most of his monumental creative accomplishments.

Both the Assam Government and the Odisha Government had sanctioned Rs. 50 lakh each for the renovation work of the two buildings.

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