GUWAHATI: On the 575th birth anniversary of the revered neo-Vaishnavite saint, Srimanta Sankardev, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma announced plans to introduce new legislation to safeguard Batadrava Thaan, an auspicious sacred place established by the 15th-century saint in Assam.
Stating that this upcoming law would aim to prohibit the sale and purchase of land within an 8-km radius of the thaan premises for “non-indigenous” communities, Sarma clarified, “The District Commissioner has been instructed not to give his assent to the sale-purchase of land to and by people belonging to non-indigenous communities until the Act is enacted and enforced.”
The Chief Minister also unveiled a series of infrastructure projects worth Rs 22 crore at the auspicious site and formally launched the year-long celebration of Srimanta Sankardev’s 575th birth anniversary on Sunday.
The infrastructural projects include beautification of the two ponds on the premises, construction of parking spaces for visitors’ vehicles, and the establishment of washrooms and toilets for the convenience of devotees.
Sarma also highlighted that ongoing development activities outside the thaan premises have achieved substantial progress, with approximately 81 percent of the work already completed.
The first phase of the project, with an estimated cost of Rs 50 crore, is nearing completion, and the second phase, which will see an investment of Rs 114 crore, is set to commence soon, he said. Furthermore, the Assam government has committed to beautifying 21 sites directly associated with Srimanta Sankardev, as part of its dedication to preserving the rich cultural heritage of the state.
Srimanta Sankardev, born at Alipukhuri near Bordowa in the present-day Nagaon district, holds immense significance in Assamese society, and Batadrava Thaan is a place of profound importance.