Bhubaneswar: While concerns were raised over demolition of Assamese litterateur Lakshminath Bezbaroa’s residence in Sambalpur, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today committed to its safe upkeep.
This comes after Assam Cultural Affairs Minister Naba Kumar Doley and Media Advisor Hrishikesh Goswami met Naveen Patnaik at state secretariat here today.
“I and people of Odisha have immense respect for Lakshminath Bezbaroa. State government will renovate his residence in Sambalpur at its cost and take care of it. With this, I hope the cultural ties between the two states will be reinforced,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said.
Reacting to this, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal thanked Naveen for the gesture.
— Sarbananda Sonowal (@sarbanandsonwal) October 31, 2017
INTACH will be assigned to undertake the renovation work, state Tourism and Culture Minister Ashok Chandra Panda said.
The state government will spend Rs 50 lakh initially for this, sources said.
The decision of the state government has come as a breather of Assamese people and literary fraternity as the century old house has survived the demolition scare.
Worth mentioning, the state government was to acquire the 2.72-acre land along with two houses that belonged to Sahityarathi Lakshminath Bezbaroa in order to construct a traffic rotary linked to a new bridge on the Mahanadi. While a portion of it needs to be demolished to make way for the new road, the Assam government and several organisations had flagged objection to the decision.
Recently, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal spoke to his Odisha counterpart urging him not to demolish the property of the literary doyen having historical and cultural significance.
It may be mentioned here that Bezbaroa had lived in Sambalpur from 1917 to 1937. In 1924, he constructed a house on the huge patch of land. This is the place where he penned his autobiography Mor Jiwan Sowaran, apart from numerous stories and essays.