Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Work to start on Bhupen memorial - lack of bidders to design Assam site hampers progress

Guwahati, Nov. 4: The Assam government will allocate work to construct the much-awaited Bhupen Hazarika memorial site within 45 days.
Tomorrow is the second death anniversary of the legendary singer.
Lack of bidders to design the memorial site was what pulled back the state government from starting work on the site on a fast footing, said Kumar Sanjay Krishna, principal secretary in the state cultural affairs department.
Talking to the media, Krishna today said the state government had to publish advertisements thrice in local and national newspapers seeking proposals from bidders before deciding on Guwahati-based Gautam Barua Associates.
“Only one firm responded to our first advertisement published on April 11 this year. As participation of at least three bidders is required to complete a bidding process, we advertised again on May 6 and got two bidders. We advertised for the third time on July 4 and got three bidders, two from Guwahati and one from Calcutta,” said Krishna.
The state government has faced criticism from different quarters for the delay in starting work on the memorial siteon the premises of Gauhati University at Jalukbari here.
Krishna said Rs 10 crore has been earmarked by the state government for its construction. Besides, the government has also requested the planning department to open a bank account so that people of the state can donate too.
The total area of the site would be 7466.78 square metres. “We are trying to restrict civil work and develop greenery as much as possible on the memorial site so that people can recollect the singer in a tranquil atmosphere,” Krishna added.
Among others, there will be an open-air theatre, audio-visual room, space to showcase various photographs of Bhupen Hazarika and parking area. Trees that had inspired Hazarika in his creations will be planted on the site.
The PWD will float a tender seeking parties for construction of the site. Krishna said construction would be completed by 2014.
The state government had to send a reminder to Gauhati University for getting the required land, Krishna added. When Hazarika passed away, the university offered the required land to cremate and develop the site.
On October 12, 2012, the state government had a meeting with the university, following which it sent a letter on November 2 seeking the land. As the university failed to take prompt action, Dispur on December 6 sent a reminder. On March 18 this year, the university finally handed over the land to the state government.
Source : The Telegraph India , 5 Nov 2013