Mysuru: The failure of the city Civic agencies to disburse funds for maintenance and upkeep of libraries has left the Department of Public Libraries struggling to meet the needs of the readers and provide quality services.
While the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) owes the Department of Libraries Rs.16.84 crore, the Mysuru Urban Development Authority (MUDA) owes the Department Rs.20 lakh. The arrears issue was highlighted at the Mysuru City Library Authority meeting organised at the MCC here on Saturday. The meeting was chaired by Mayor Pushpalatha Jagannath, who is also the Authority’s Chairperson Ex-Officio.
At the meeting, Department of Libraries Deputy Director B. Manjunath, who is also the Chief Librarian of the City Central Library, said that the non payment of a staggering Rs.17 crore by the Local Bodies, has badly affected the expansion and development of libraries in the city. Pointing out that 6 percent of the Property Tax that the MCC collects from the public was towards maintenance of Libraries, which is to be subsequently transferred to the Department, Manjunath maintained that the MCC and MUDA have failed to disburse the dues, which has adversely affected the development of Libraries.
Illustrating the magnitude of the task confronting the Department, he said that there were 32 libraries spread across the district, including 17 branch libraries, 13 service libraries and a main branch, cumulatively housing 12.54 lakh books.
Noting that the branch libraries are maintained by permanent staff and the service libraries by temporary staff, Manjunath said that the newly launched e-library at J.P. Nagar was receiving good response from the people.
He further said that a mobile library visits each Ward once in a week as 38 MCC Wards out of the 65 in the city have no library facility. On the library building coming up in People’s Park, Nazarbad, the Deputy Director said that the construction of the library is almost complete and the Department needs an additional Rs.2 crore for interiors and other works.
Stating that the Government has sanctioned Rs.4 crore and the State Library Department has provided Rs.75 lakh for the Rs.5 crore project, Manjunath said, the Government has directed the MCC to release Rs.75 lakh.
Urging the MCC to release Rs.75 lakh immediately, he said that the new Library will become one of the biggest libraries in the State with a number of sections.
Mayor Pushpalatha Jagannath assured that she will ensure that the amount required for the construction of the Library in People’s Park is released immediately.
Corporator H.M. Shantakumari, MCC Commissioner K.H. Jagadeesha and others were present.
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