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Bhupen fans protest delay

- Anger over Dispurís dilly-dally over memorial

Guwahati, July 31: Students and residents of Jalukbari today condemned the inordinate delay in the construction of a memorial to music maestro Bhupen Hazarika and demanded Dispur to complete the project at the earliest.

A senior government official said the state government initiated the process of work allocation two months ago and it will take some more time to start the actual work on the memorial.

The residents joined the two-hour sit-in organised by the West Guwahati unit of the All Assam Studentsí Union (AASU) at the cremation site of the singer today reminding Dispur how it has failed to complete the memorial even after more than two years of the death of Hazarika.

Hazarika died on November 5, 2011, and was cremated at Jalukbari on the campus of Gauhati University. The cremation was witnessed by a multitude of crowd from across the state.

ďThe construction of the memorial is going on at a snailís pace. This is very unfortunate and reflects the governmentís negligence towards the great singer. This has happened despite tall claims by the government to turn the cremation site into another Rajghat,Ē said Pulak Kumar, president of the West Guwahati Studentsí Union.

On November 4, 2013, a day before the second death anniversary of the singer, principal secretary of state cultural affairs department, Kumar Sanjay Krishna, told the media that Dispur would allocate work to construct the memorial site within 45 days. He said lack of bidders to design the memorial site was a setback. The state PWD was supposed to float tenders.

The government earmarked Rs 10 crore for construction of the memorial site. Besides, it had also requested the planning department to open a bank account so that people can donate for construction of the site. The total area of the site will be 7466.78 square metres (5 bighas 2 kathas 18 lessas).

What worries many fans of Hazarika is the Nation Highway 37 which passes by the cremation site.

They feel that because of traffic movement the memorial site will be a noisy place.

Krishna said the government was planning to restrict civil work and develop greenery as much as possible on the memorial site so that people can pay tribute to the singer in a tranquil atmosphere.