Construction to be completed by November this year, promises Culture minister
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, March 26: The construction of late music maestro Bhupen Hazarika's memorial at Jalukbari will be hopefully completed within November this year, State Cultural Affairs minister Bismita Gogoi informed the Assembly on Thursday. Gogoi also promised that the memorial site will be a unique spot in the entire State.
Soon after Bhupen Hazarika’s cremation, the State government had announced that the place would be turned into a Rajghat-like memorial and would be the centre of a cultural complex. But delay in starting the work has angered many individuals and organizations, including the AASU.
In its defense, Dispur stated that lack of capable architects and interested bidders in the State were the reasons which delayed the beginning of construction of the memorial at Jalukbari. The Association of Architects, Assam, however refuted Dispur’s claim.
Bhupen Hazarika passed away on November 5, 2011, and was cremated at Jalukbari on the campus of Gauhati University.
The construction of the memorial is going on at a sil’s pace. This not only reflects the State government’s negligence towards the great singer, but also makes a mockery of the tall claims by Dispur to turn the cremation site into another Rajghat.
On November 4, 2013, a day before the second death anniversary of the maestro, the then principal secretary of State Cultural Affairs department, Kumar Sanjay Krish, told the media that Dispur will allocate work to construct the memorial site within 45 days.
On Thursday, the issue was raised in the Assembly by AIUDF MLA Hafiz Rafikul Islam. In her reply, the Cultural Affairs minister said, “The department was officially handed over the land for the memorial on October 8, 2014. Almost 50 per cent of the memorial’s construction has been completed.”
Gogoi said that Rs 19.95 crore had been sanctioned by the State government for the construction of the memorial at Jalukbari.