Guwahati/Sivasagar, May 2: Chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday said that his government was taking up several measures to beautify the Ahom-era relics and sites in Sivasagar, and convert the place into a global tourism hub.
Talking to reporters at Sivasagar after visiting the Ahom dynasty amphitheatre ‘Rang Ghar’, Sarma said plans had been drawn for expanding its premises by procuring adjacent land and provisions made for paying adequate compensation to the plot owners.
“We want to further beautify Rang Ghar, convert the place into a global tourism hub,” he stated.
“We want to develop open spaces near the Rang Ghar, where artists and performers can practice or teach Bihu, while these can be viewed from the pavilion of the amphitheatre,” Sarma explained.
On his visit to the Sivasagar Tai museum, the CM said plans are afoot to expand it and collect scattered artefacts related to Tai and Ahom history for conservation under its roof.
Sharing photographs of his visit to Rang Ghar on Twitter, Sarma later wrote: “Relived the splendour of Ahom architecture by visiting the historic Rang Ghar, Sivasagar to review a beautification project with added amenities for boosting tourism. Our Govt plans to acquire 78 bigha land adjacent to the historic structure to execute the project this year.”
“Ahom-era artefacts remind us of our glorious past. Glad to spend some time at Tai Museum, Sivasagar this morning. We have planned to give a facelift to this museum with a larger area for display, more stock of artefacts & manuscripts, conference hall, etc,” he tweeted.
He added that officials have been directed to take all necessary steps so that expansion work of the museum can start by November.
Sivasagar MLA Akhil Gogoi, who accompanied the chief minister during the visit, thanked Sarma for the beautification proposals.
“I had met the chief minister thrice in the last one year with various proposals for how to develop Sivasagar as a global tourist hub. And the announcements are a result of those requests,” the Independent legislator added.
Gogoi had placed a demand for declaring the historical city of Sivasagar as the ‘State Heritage Site’ in the Assembly in July last year.
He had said there are 551 historical monuments or sites dating back to Ahom dynasty scattered around Sivasagar, also included in the probable list of World Heritage Sites of UNESCO in 2019.
Reacting to his demand, Cultural Affairs minister Bimal Borah had said Sivasagar has the potential to become not only a ‘State Heritage Site’ but a ‘World Heritage Site’, and the government was working for its development.
Sivasagar, earlier known as Rangpur, is a historical town of Assam, situated 363 km east of Guwahati. It was the capital of the mighty Ahoms, who ruled Assam for more than 600 years before the advent of the British.
Currently, it is a fast-developing urban settlement and the headquarters of Sivasagar district, a leading tea and oil producing centre.
Education minister Dr. Ranoj Pegu, Revenue minister Jogen Mohan, MP Topon Kumar Gogoi, MLAs – Sushanta Borgohain and Taranga Gogoi, Sivasagar DC Megha Nidhi Dahal, commissioner & special secretary PWD Raj Chakraborty were present during the visit of the chief minister.
Sarma on Monday also visited historic Shiva Dol and offered prayers seeking blessings of lord Shiva for peace, prosperity and well-being of all.