Bhupen Hazarika samadhi project stuck in time warp!
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, August 30: Dr. Bhupen Hazarika Samadhi Khetra Project at Jalukbari in the city has been stuck in a time warp!
The previous Tarun Gogoi-led Congress government in the State iugurated the project in haste on November 5, 2015 even as the project work was far from being over. The Gogoi government iugurated it even before completion of work with the condition that the State PWD would hand it over to the State Cultural Affairs Department after completion of all works within three months. However, the Congress government missed the target set by it. Nine months have been elapsed after the iuguration of the project, and the present BJP-led dispensation at Dispur has also failed to hand it over to the State Cultural Affairs Department. The works of the main dome of the Samadhi Khetra is far from being over, and the work is progressing at a sil’s pace.
How come Bhupendrajyoti (Bhupendra torch) goes out after a month of it being lighted? The torch was lighted on November 5, 2015 with the promise of keeping it burning round-the-clock and forever. However, around a month after being lighted, the torch went out due to exhaustion of LPG, and the cylinder has not been refilled as yet. Later, the Gogoi government did change its earlier stand, and announced to keep the torch lit on the balladeer’s birthday and on the day of his expire. With the birthday of the maestro (September 8) nearing, Dispur is seen being agile in cleaning and painting the campus. The agility on the part of those at the helm of affairs is seen in giving the campus a facelift, not in the installations that are a must for the Samadhi Khetra. The Samadhi Khetra is being run without any generator set. How come a place where Bhupendra Music keeps humming round the clock continues without a generator set? When there is power cut, Bhupendra Music is stopped, besides the entire campus plunging into darkness. Likewise, there is no rest house for visitors. When visitors come from outside and want to know something about the balladeer of world repute, there is none to explain them, nor is there any guidebook or any other book on the bard. Let alone such vital literary materials on the maestro, there is no receptionist at the campus. An auditorium and a conference hall are a must for the Samadhi.
When asked, Biswa Rat Dr. Bhupen Hazarika Samany Xatra general secretary Hemanta Deka said: “With the birthday of the balladeer coming closer, the government has cleaned and painted the campus. However, there’s no progress on the works of the installations that are vital for the Samadhi. With the expansion of the tiol highway running nearby, the Samadhi remains littered with dust. The works of the main dome of the Samadhi is far from being over. Some 1,000-1,500 people do visit the Samadhi a day. The number of visitors rises to around 2,000 on Saturdays and Sundays. Since their taking oath, Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal and State Cultural Affairs Minister ba Doley haven’t yet visited the Samadhi Khetra. Even though the last Congress government iugurated the Samadhi in haste, they did keep in touch with the Samadhi Khetra. We need to thank former Cultural Affairs Minister Bishmita Gogoi on this count.”
Deka further said: “What can a visitor find at the Samadhi Khetra when there’re no research centre, no auditorium, no conference hall etc. There’re two employees at the Samadhi from the PWD, but there’s none from the Cultural Affairs Department. This is not all. Many a valuable tress planted in the campus had to die due to excessive filling of earth while opening the khetra in haste. We do keep our hope alive to see the Samadhi Khetra a developed one if Gauhati University adds 20 bighas of land to the existing over-five-bigha plot.”
A few days ago, Guwahati Mayor Mrigen Sarania visited the Samadhi Khetra and said that he would make arrangement for two streetlights near the installation. The promise is yet to be kept.