State govt gets Anand Bhavan - Biju sons gift property for memorial museum

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By LALMOHAN PATNAIK
  • Published 14.01.15
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Chief minister Naveen Patnaik, his elder brother Prem Patnaik and his son Arun Patnaik at the sub-registrar's office in Cuttack and (below) the Anand Bhavan, the ancestral house of Biju Patnaik, that was handed over to the state government on Tuesday. Pictures by Badrika Nath Das

Cuttack, Jan. 13: Anand Bhavan, the ancestral house of Biju Patnaik at Tulsipur, was handed over to the state government today, clearing the decks for converting it into a memorial museum.

Biju Patnaik's two sons - chief minister Naveen Patnaik and his sibling Prem Patnaik - donated the house. Intellectuals and politicians had mooted the museum proposal soon after Biju Patnaik's death in 1997.

The state culture department had in 2006 appealed to Naveen Patnaik to hand over the house, where Biju babu had spent most of his childhood days, so that it could recommend to the Centre for its conversion into a national memorial museum.

But, it did not materialise as members of the Biju family did not hand over the building for the purpose.

"My brother (Prem) and I have gifted our ancestral house to the state government for development of a museum, place of learning and library for the people," Naveen told the media today after signing the gift deed at the Cuttack sub-registrar's office. "It is a gift to the people of Odisha," said Prem, who was accompanied by his son, Arun.

Naveen's nephew Arun said: "It's a great feeling to see that the people have so much love for my uncle. I am really proud of him."

The gift deed said: "Anand Bhavan, being the karmabhoomi (workplace) and j anmabhoomi (birthplace) of the great son of Odisha (Biju babu) bears the legacy of his selfless and dedicated service to the people of Odisha, and for the intense love and affection of the people towards late Biju babu and his dreams of a modern Odisha, the donors consider it expedient that the scheduled property be owned and enjoyed by the people of the state."

Cuttack sub-registrar Ramesh Chandra Panda said: "The gift deed related to the half-acre land and building constructed over 5,000sqft is valued at Rs 1.62 crore according to the government benchmark."

"The signature of Biju Patnaik's daughter Geeta Mehta was not required as she had signed a deed before me on May 19, 2014, relinquishing her share in favour of Naveen Patnaik," said the sub-registrar.

Naveen's grandfather Laxmi Narayan Patnaik had built Anand Bhavan. Biju Patnaik was born there on March 5, 1916.

Biju babu was reportedly very fond of reading detective books and scientific articles, which are still lying in house. This apart, a large number of mementos received by him are also kept in the house. The furniture and other belongings used by him are also lying intact inside the building. A large number of documents related to his life have also been preserved there.

Sources said the state culture department had planned to form a trust to manage the day-to-day affairs of the proposed national memorial museum. The state archaeology department will prepare a project report for submission to the Centre for necessary sanction and provision of funds.