Assam Assembly passes bill to protect tangible heritage


GUWAHATI: The Assam Assembly on Wednesday passed a bill to protect, preserve and restore tangible heritage, which are currently not covered under any national or state law.

The passage of the Assam Heritage (Tangible) Protection, Preservation, Conservation and Maintenance Bill, 2020 was termed as historic by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who said it is a step towards implementing the Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.

As per the clause, constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards, as may be appropriate, shall be provided to protect, preserve and promote the culture, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.

‘The bill seeks to include museum objects like coins, sculptures, manuscripts, epigraphs or other work of art and craftsmanship and all cultural artifacts of indigenous people.

‘It seeks to protect, preserve, conserve, maintain and restore the tangible heritage of Assam,’ Cultural Affairs (Archeology) Minister Keshab Mahanta said in the statement of objects and reasons.

The act will cover all those heritage that have been in existence for at least 75 years, and will be other than those declared as national importance by Parliament or those covered under the Assam Ancient Monuments and Records Act, 1959.

The assembly also passed a bill to set up a unitary, non-affiliating, residential and state university — Sati Sadhani Rajyik Vishwavidyalaya in Golaghat district.

Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the Council of Ministers in 2019 had decided to set up the varsity in memory of Sati Sadhani, who was the last queen of the Chutia dynasty and played a prominent part in the fight against the Ahoms.

Further, the House passed the Assam College Employees (Provincialisation)(Amendment) Bill, 2020 for extending the period to refund the government’s share of contributory provident fund in case of retired or expired employees of the provincialised colleges. (PTI)