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Priceless heritage gets funds to survive

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OUR CORRESPONDENT Dhubri   |   Published 12.10.07, 12:00 AM

Oct. 12: The oldest mosque in Assam, the largest shaktipeeth (seat of the goddess) in the western part of the state, a mazaar sharif of five Sufi saints embodying religious harmony and a 17th century gurdwara established by the ninth Sikh Guru, Tegh Bahadur. Dhubri district boasts all this and more.

But in spite of all these manifestations of a rich cultural heritage, the district has so far found few takers among tourists.

The future promises to be different, though, with the Union tourism ministry recently sanctioning Rs 4 crore for the development of tourism in the district.

Official sources said Dhubri deputy commissioner Ganesh Chandra Kalita submitted a proposal for the development of tourism to the Union ministry a few months ago.

Delhi promtly sanctioned Rs 4 crore out of the budget of Rs 5 crore.

Kalita said infrastructure would be improved in and around the Dudhnath temple at Chandardinga Hill, Mahamaya Snanghat, Mahamaya temple at Mahamayadham (Bogribari), Rangamati Mosque, Netai Dhubuni Ghat, Panch Peer Dargah, Ramraikutir Satra, Maha Ashtami Snan Ghat, Victoria Park and Alokjhari.

The project also envisages the construction of a museum and a Kala Kendra at Gouripur, a wayside amenities centre at Boxirhat and the promotion of Simli Beel as a biotic and aquatic centre and Mancachar as a tourist spot.

Besides transforming the district into a tourist hub, the project is expected to generate permanent employment for over 150 people.

Another 500 people will find employment during the implementation of the project. “Once the tourism industry takes off in the district, it will help mitigate the problems of insurgency, unrest and unemployment among youths,” Kalita said.

Dhubri district is one of the three civil subdivisions of erstwhile Goalpara district, established in 1876. In 1879, the district headquarters was shifted from Goalpara to Dhubri. Goalpara was divided into four separate districts in 1983, of which Dhubri is one.

The 2001 census revealed that Dhubri district is the most densely populated district in the country, with a density of 584 people per square km. The district spans 2,838 square km.

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