Three years after his death, Bhupen Hazarika memorial still a non-starter
GUWAHATI, NOVEMBER 5
[dropcap]E[/dropcap]ven as Assam paid rich tributes to the legendary singer, musician, poet and filmmaker Bhupen Hazarika on his third death anniversary on Wednesday, an ambitious Rs 13-crore project announced by the Assam government more than a year ago to build a befitting memorial for him has remained a non-starter.
Though the government had in November last year promised to complete it by today, state cultural affairs minister Pranatee Phukan said it would now be completed only by November 2015. In August, chief minister Tarun Gogoi had directed the cultural department to expedite construction of the memorial without further delay.While Hazarika had passed away on November 5, 2011, only a temporary structure stands at the spot where he was cremated near the Gauhati University campus, where he had served as a professor for a couple of years before quitting to take up singing and music.
The proposed memorial would include a two-storied structure with a library, an auditorium and an audio-visual room. An open air theatre and a pen-shaped aluminium silhouetted statue of Hazarika along with a musical fountain and a souvenir shop are also supposed to be part of the memorial
Meanwhile, the Assam government today unveiled a new project of establishing open-air stages in the memory of Bhupen Hazarika in all the 219 development blocks of the state. To be built at a cost of Rs 25 lakh each, these open-air stages would also have a park alongside.