GUWAHATI, March 20 - Work on restoration of the old DC Bungalow beside the River Brahmaputra and its conversion into �Brahmaputra River Heritage Centre � Bahniman�, is nearing completion and the centre will be inaugurated next month.
Dr M Angamuthu, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) told The Assam Tribune today that work on the project is continuing on a war-footing.
�The restoration work was started by GMDA in 2012. Along the way, there have been many setbacks, but the State government�s steadfast support has eventually led to its transformation into the Brahmaputra River Heritage Centre � Bahniman. Over the past one year, the work was undertaken on a war-footing as it has been amalgamated as first phase of the ambitious Brahmaputra River Front Development project under the Guwahati Smart City Mission. It is now nearing completion and the centre will be inaugurated and dedicated to the public in April,� he said.
The site covers around 13,600 square metres and was the official residence of the Deputy Commissioner of Kamrup Metro district till 2012.
�GMDA was entrusted with the task of restoring the old DC Bungalow. The government decided that preservation would be best achieved by converting the old DC Bungalow into a heritage centre which would aptly maintain and perpetuate the unique character of the site,� said Dr Angamuthu.
He added that the underlying theme of Bahniman is the Brahmaputra.
�Like other riverbank civilisations across the world, the Brahmaputra has defined and dominated the collective consciousness of the people. Its impact is deeply entrenched in the culture, food habits, customs, traditions, dances and rituals, religious beliefs and practices of all communities. The Brahmaputra River Heritage Centre is in praise and salutation to the river,� said the CEO of GMDA.
He added, �The project, with a total cost of Rs 9.69 crore, has involved complete restoration of the main building structure into the heritage block and extensive landscaping with new elements to complement the heritage block with an impressive facade and entry plaza and the needed utilities for the public and visitors. This includes an outdoor amphitheatre offering a breathtaking view of the river, jetties, vantage view points and an administrative block with facilities for holding seminars and workshops or interactive sessions, along with public amenities and secured parking.�
Dr Angamuthu said that the heritage centre is aimed at providing a platform for displaying the culture, tradition and heritage of the settlements that have evolved along the banks of the Brahmaputra over the ages.
�It will provide a much needed podium which will enable both the young and senior members of society to rediscover their heritage, assimilate the history of evolution of our culture, language, and traditional practices, and provide others an opportunity to receive and experience the land and its people. The Centre, through its Heritage Exhibition initiative, is focused on making a repository of heritage artifacts and items which hold immense historic and cultural value,� he said.