The Centre has stepped in to preserve a neglected bungalow in Shillong where Rabindranath Tagore had stayed during one of his visits, asking the Meghalaya government to let its views known.
T Kumar, Joint Secretary of the Union Ministry of Culture, has written to the commissioner and secretary of Meghalaya Arts and Culture department highlighting the need to place a proposal for preservation of the Brookside bungalow to the National Implementation Committee formed by the Centre.
Kumar said the committee had been set up under the chairmanship of Union Minister Pranab Mukherjee for commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore.
Researcher Malabika Bisharad, a lone crusader who has been fighting for preservation of Tagore's memoirs, had dashed off several letters to the state government appealing for restoration of the houses, but the response till recently had been lukewarm.
She had even written to Union Minister Pranab Mukherjee and West Bengal government highlighting the plight of the places. She has appealed to the Centre to construct a building where a research institute with a library and a full statute of the poet can be housed.
The ministry in its letter sought comments from the state government on Bisharad's proposal.
The state government, however, has lately started renovation work in the Brookside Bungalow whose planks had come off and a couple of wooden pillars at the facade on the verge of collapsing due to decay and lack of maintenance.
Tagore had stayed at the Brookside Bungalow for about a month when he had visited the hill city for a vacation in 1919. The poet had written a few short write-ups - Ekti Chauni and Ekti Din - and made a few English translations during this period, according to available records.
Brookside is a country mansion located in a woody groove in the Rilbong area of the city, encircled on three sides by deep gorges of the Umshyrpi stream.