Renovated Rabindra Bhawan set to open its doors by March End

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Renovated Rabindra Bhawan set to open its doors by March End

Nehal Jain | March 02, 2019 13:44 hrs

The renovation work of Guwahati’s premier cultural centre, Rabindra Bhawan, is nearing completion with a major part of the work having been already completed. The entire renovation of Rabindra Bhawan has taken over a year to complete during which time the auditorium has remained shut.

Home to Guwahati’s cultural gatherings and exchanges, Rabindra Bhawan has been undergoing repair and overhaul works since February 2018, although the centre had already been closed down in October 2017. 

“We have begun the work as per the blueprint provided to us,” said Murali Das, site engineer of the company which has been entrusted with the job after a tender was issued for the same. 

The work, being done under PWD (Building), includes extension and renovation of toilet box, installation of new equipments, development of the lobby area and refurnishing chairs. Further, officials at the Rabindra Bhawan informed that the stage and ceiling have also been completely remodelled.  

“An amount of Rs 5.4 crores was sanctioned by the department of cultural affairs, government of Assam for the overhaul process. Out of the total amount, a large sum of Rs 14 lakhs has been spent as consultancy and architecture fees while the rest has been used for renovation work,” M Kakati, assistant engineer of the Public Works Department (PWD) informed G Plus. 

He further added that water seepage in the walls of the auditorium was a major issue which has now been fixed with the use of latest technology.

“Since the auditorium is built at a lower level than the Dighalipukhuri, water seeps below the stage during monsoons when the level of Dighalipukhuri rises. This has affected the timber over the course of time,” said an official. He added that the last renovation was undertaken around seven years ago.

In addition to the existing urinals, new ones have also been constructed within the premises of Rabindra Bhawan. The lobby area including the doors and windows has been refurbished and false ceiling has been constructed for better aesthetics.

A large chunk of the money has been spent on the refurbishment of the seating area which includes the installation of new chairs and carpet. The auditorium now has a seating capacity of 610 people – 272 in the balcony area and 338 on the ground floor, Rabindra Bhawan officials informed.

The stage has been renovated with the introduction of high-end lighting, acoustic and sound systems and a new projector has also been purchased for the screening of movies in the future.

Rabindra Bhawan is one of the extremely limited cultural centres in Guwahati which provides a platform for artists from various fields such as dance, music, theatre and culture among others to showcase their art. 
   
Speaking to G Plus about the future of Rabindra Bhawan, a source in the directorate of cultural affairs informed, “After the inauguration of a renovated and upgraded Rabindra Bhawan, we’re expecting the demand for the auditorium to go high. The rent of the cultural centre will definitely increase owing to the state-of-the-art facilities that will be provided and the maintenance that it’ll require in the future.”

Before it was temporarily shut in October, it hosted shows of national and even international artists on a regular basis and was thronged by art and culture aficionados. The auditorium used to hold about 20-25 programmes every month at a rent of around Rs 25,000 per day. 

The renovation work is almost over now, with the final painting and finishing touches remaining. The auditorium is expected to be inaugurated by March end after which it’ll be open for bookings and hosting cultural events.

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