A Tribute to Dr Padma Kanta Bora
September 2, 2016. Around 12.30 pm I got a call from my mother with the news that bhindeo is no more. So many memories rushed in bits and pieces across my mind. I was a little girl when my sister (cousin) Ranu baideo (Dr. Maitreyee Bora) got married and I often visited their house in Jalukbari as my bhindeo, Dr. Padma Kanta Bora, was working in Assam Engineering College. He was a soft-spoken person, a smile playing around his mouth and with a ready wit.
He had a brilliant academic career. He did his B.E. (Civil Engineering) from Gauhati University in 1960, M.Sc (Highway and Traffic Engineering) from Birmingham University, the U.K. in 1965, and PhD (Highway Engineering) from Birmingham University, the UK in 1968.
He held various positions, starting as a Temporary Engineer in PWD from January to October 1960;
Lecturer in Civil Engineering at Assam Engineering College, Guwahati from 1960 to 1964; Assistant Professor in Civil Engineering at Assam Engineering College, Guwahati, from 1964 to 1977 (excepting the period from October 1964 to April 1968 spent in studying for M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Engineering at Birmingham University, the U.K.) ; Professor and Head, Department of Civil Engineering, Jorhat Engineering College, Jorhat, from 1977 to 1982 and filly Professor and Head, Department of Civil Engineering, Assam Engineering College, Guwahati, Assam, from 1982 till retirement in December,1995.
He held Membership of Professiol Bodies and Societies, including Life Member, Indian Roads Congress; Life Member, Indian Geotechnical Society; former Member, Institution of Highway and Transportation Engineers, the UK; former Member, American Society for Testing & Materials, the USA; Former Technical Consultant, Housing and Urban Development Corporation; former Member, Board of Studies, Jorhat Engineering College, Dibrugarh University; former Member, Gauhati University Research Council. He also worked as a consultant for Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO). He was also actively involved as a member in the two Assam Governmentn appointed enquiry committees on Assam Floods in 1986 and 1988; as Member of Assam Governmentn appointed committee for suggesting alignment of the new broad gauge railway line in the Deepar Beel area considering its environmental implications in 1990; as Member of a Technical Enquiry Committee of the Government of Assam to examine the aspect of accidents occurring in short diversions and to recommend preventive measures thereof 1979 and also acted on behalf of Assam Chief Minister’s vigilance cell for looking into construction quality aspects of the Golaghat-Merapani road 1978.
He had produced many Ph.D scholars.
His last book is “Conversations with Myself – A Quest up to the Twilight Zone of Science and Religion”. Unfortutely life did not allow him to see the light of the book. It’s yet to come out.
Today, on the thirteenth day of his leaving this world along with his wife Dr. Maitreyee Bora, daughter Dr. Shreemayee Bora, son in law Jayanta Jivan Laskar and grandson Apratim Laskar and a host of relatives, friends and students, I offer my prayers for the peace of his soul.
—Dr. Srutimala Duara