Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Stone Laid for Netaji Memorial

Tourism and Culture Minister Maheswar Mohanty on Monday laid the foundation stone for renovation and conservation of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's paternal house which will be converted into a memorial at Gopalballav road here. The historic building, where Netaji spent his childhood, is now in a dilapidated condition. Mohanty said it would be transformed into a heritage building having a swimming pool, cafeteria, an open air theatre and an auditorium. Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) will implement the project for which a budget of ` four crore has been sanctioned. "The building will have something for people from all walks of society. It would display personal artefacts of Netaji and his family members," the Minister said. The house situated at Mati Mandap Sahi of the pilgrim town was built by Subhash's father Janakinath Bose in 1916. The Revenue Department had on July 27 handed over the possession of the ancestral house of Netaji to the Culture Department. Director of Culture and other officials in the presence of the police and a magistrate had taken over the house and an inventory of the articles used by Netaji in the house was conducted. Earlier, after much hue and cry by the local residents and the media over an alleged attempt by Netaji's kin to sell the property, the District Magistrate had cancelled the lease of the land, resumed the ownership of the house and approached the Culture Department to make it a memorial. Later, the Revenue Department transferred the property in favour of the Culture Department. Netaji was living with his father in the two-storey house which was built on a leasehold land near the sea beach. The house spread over almost half an acre of land had lost its sheen in the absence of repair and maintenance. The house bears a marble name plate of Brajendranath Bose and Supriya Bose, members of the Bose family. If sources are to be believed, Netaji held secret meetings of his Forward Bloc in this house. The Tourism Minister also revealed that efforts are on to preserve the Satlahari Mutt, the work place of Atibadi Jagannath Das, located along the sea beach. "Besides, `5 crore would be spent on preserving numerous Bhagabat Tungis which are in poor state in the villages of the State," he said, adding the memorial of Salabega situated along Badadanda in Puri would be renovated soon. INTACH Convenor of Odisha chapter AB Tripathy said there was a need to create an Odisha Heritage Fund to take care of heritage sites in the State. Among others, local MP Pinaki Mishra, Culture Secretary Sanjib Kumar Mishra, Director Susil Das, District Magistrate Dhiren Kumar Pattnaik, Director of INTACH Mallika Mitra, Jayant Kumar Sarangi, the local civic body chairman, were present.

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