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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Berhampur: The birth anniversary of the legendary leader and former Chief Minister of Odisha Biju Patnaik was celebrated with much pomp and gaiety across the State on Friday. However, the remnants of the Tall Man's house is fast fading into oblivion due to lack of care and maintenance.

It’s nothing less than a travesty to see the birthplace of the legendary statesman at Nuagaon in Belaguntha block in Ganjam district in utter neglect. The dilapidated house is crying for attention, said locals.

The 'Tall Man' used to live in the house during his childhood. He also spent time in his birthplace whenever he comes to Ganjam. Forget about other basic amenities, people visiting the place won’t even find a proper motorable road connecting it. The local residents rue that policies and schemes formed on Biju Babu’s name have seldom found their way into his birthplace.

The dilapidated condition of the house, where the statesmen was born, is self-explanatory of the sheer government apathy towards legacy of the one whom many call as the ‘architect of the modern Odisha’.

Though indifference and sheer neglect on the part of the Odisha government machinery has consigned the memories of Biju Babu to the dump yard of history, the locals have not forgotten their hero. Every year on March 5, the neighbours and distant relatives of Biju Babu observe his birth anniversary in Nuagaon, hundreds of miles away from the State capital, where the government actually celebrates his birthday as Panchayati Raj Diwas.

Sadly, nobody in the government had ever tried to develop Nuagaon as a tourist destination just like Anand Bhawan in Cuttack which was developed as a museum to commemorate the great man, lamented a local.

"The villagers are proud of the fact that the great Biju Babu was born here," said the former CM's nephew, Pramod Patnaik.

Any developmental works undertaken here to revive the legacy of Biju Babu will be welcomed. Building a museum here in the memory of the great leader could be a great idea, he added.

(Edited by Pradeep Singh)

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