GUWAHATI, Nov 4 � Three years have passed since the music maestro and cultural icon of Assam Dr Bhupen Hazarika left for his heavenly abode, but the State is yet to get a full-fledged memorial for the legend who secured his place in the hearts of millions across the globe.
Waiting to get a Samadhi Kshetra (cremation ground) as majestic as Rajghat, people of the State and several public organizations have stood in unison blaming the State government for the inordinate delay. Though the government has started construction work on five bighas of land at Jalukbari, people are wary about getting �too little too late� in the memory of Bhupenda.
Well aware of the public sentiment brewing against it, the State government has announced that the Samadhi Kshetra would be completed and opened up for the common people by the death anniversary of Dr Hazarika in 2015.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Pranati Phukan, Minister of Cultural Affairs, Assam, reiterated the government�s pledge to complete the project by November 2015. �The initial process of project designing, tenders and architectural decisions are not visible on the ground. However, the construction work of the boundary wall, gate and gumbaz to be constructed on the site of cremation, has already started,� she said.
The project worth Rs 13 crore includes an auditorium for hosting discussions, seminars etc. on the life and works of Dr Hazarika. The front side would be adorned with souvenir stalls and exhibition of photographs on the life of Dr Hazarika, while a small open air theatre and a museum preserving the memories of the legendary bard would be set up in the precinct. Other than the gumbaz, the centre of attraction of the Samadhi Kshetra, a park would be designed in the backside and light and water bodies would multiply the beauty of the area, as per the government plans.
However, terming the delay as inexcusable, advisor of the All Assam Students� Union, Dr Samujjal Bhattacharyya said that the people of Assam are ashamed accepting that the memorial project is still in its nascent stage. �Three years have passed since the entire State pledged for preserving his memories during his historic funeral, but the government spent three years in planning the project. Now we need a time-bound action plan for completion of the project,� he said.
Bhattacharyya also expressed dissatisfaction over the small scale memorial project taken up by the government. �When the Gauhati University is ready to give as much land required for the project, the government is limiting it to only five bighas. A majestic memorial like the Rajghat could be built up on a sprawling and picturesque plot of land. Dr Bhupen Hazarika Memorial should be a place where his admirers from across the globe could come and realize the grandeur of his personality,� added the AASU advisor.