Thursday, December 19, 2013

Intach to restore Netaji home in Puri

The state government on Wednesday handed over the ancestral house of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose in Puri to Indian National Trust For Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) for restoration and conservation. Intach, a voluntary organization working for protection and conservation of cultural heritages in the country, would transform the century-old house into 'Netaji Memorial'. The culture department has sanctioned Rs 3.9 crore for the project. "We will start the restoration and conservation work after the fund is released to us. Hopefully, the work will commence in January," INTACH's convener (Odisha chapter) A B Tripathy told TOI. "We will not demolish the heritage building or destroy articles, having direct or indirect link with the great Indian freedom fighter. It will just be repaired and conserved. We will set up a museum and gallery to attract tourists," Tripathy said. Spread over nearly half an acre on Gopal Ballav Road, the property was entangled in legal controversy for quite a long time before the government took control of the house in March this year. The land was granted on lease to Netaji's father Janakinath Bose in 1916 by state government for residential purpose. Bose subsequently constructed a house. After his demise on December 3, 1934, the property was recorded in the names of his wife and seven sons, including Netaji. The land lease was renewed once in every 30 years. After several years, the relatives of Janakinath allegedly tried to delete Netaji from the list of legal heirs of the asset. Netaji's successors filed a petition, seeking deletion of Netaji's name, in the court of the revenue divisional commissioner (central range) Arvind Padhee, who earlier this year quashed the petition. "The court is saddened with the attitude of some of his relatives for attempting to delete Netaji's name from the lease deed, which was renewed in 1982," the court order said. "I would like to opine that Netaji Subash Chandra Bose is a statesman of such high stature that his name should not be dragged into any controversy involving in a land lease case. His relatives violated the lease condition and had been using the property for commercial purpose. Flouting the conditions, the leaseholders had in the past given the house on rent to a hotelier," Padhee said.

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