Hyderabad : An unproper planning to usher holistic development in urban and rural areas, releasing of funds for development solely confines to roads, water supply and sanitation sans any pragmatic approach to measures like promoting libraries especially in Rangareddy district.
Every municipality has a mandate to pay eight per cent of the total revenue collection from Property Tax as library cess to Zilla Grandhalaya Samstha.
However, it is learnt that neither sufficient funds are being released on a regular basis to Zilla Grandhalaya Samastha nor the proposals it made for the construction of new library buildings are getting a nod from the government since 2018.
While GHMC has to pay us over Rs 50-64 crores, the Municipalities especially in Rangareddy district alone has an overdue of Rs 12 crores that excludes the library cess dues of Rs 2 crores from Gram Panchayats.
Whatever library cess is being received is mainly from Municipalities and Gram Panchayats, while GHMC is not paying a penny to us since 2009,” claimed M Manoj Kumar, Secretary Zilla Grandhalaya Samstha (ZGS), Randareddy.
In Rangareddy district, Badangpet and Manikonda municipalities alone have an overdue of Rs 3 crore each. Remaining 14 ULBs have to pay the remaining Rs 6 crores to the Samstha. Though the government is releasing funds to the tune of Rs 50-60 Lakhs every month, all this has been spent on reconstruction of old library structures posing a serious threat to inhabitants,” explained Bheemanapalli Satyam, Librarian Badangpet District Central Library.
Elaborating about the funds received and the measures taken up by the Samstha, he said, “Apart from a district central Library at Badangpet, we have a total number of 24 branch libraries and seven village libraries in the district. ZGS received a total fund of Rs.8 crores since 2018.
Apart from this, Samstha got additional Rs.25 crores at the time of delimitation of districts as part of its share. So far, we have taken up reconstruction of libraries in Shabad, Kuthur, Shamshabad, Shadnagar, Amangal, Manchal and Badangpet mandals spending a total Rs 12 crores. ”
“We built the Central Library at Badangpet spending funds to the tune of Rs 5 crores and shifted the head office from Saroor Nagar to newly constructed building at Badangpet. However, no new building has been sanctioned by the government. Only reconstruction of old and dilapidated buildings were done using a fund of Rs 12 crore since 2018,” the official informed.
Claiming that the reconstruction of the old library completed in Shadnagar where inauguration is scheduled to be held in two weeks, the official said “the work of libraries in Shamshabad and Amangal mandals is in advanced stage and will be completed in one or two months. However, works of the remaining libraries will take another 5-6 months to complete.”
“We made representations to the government for setting up new libraries in newly formed municipalities but yet did not get any nod for the same. Some municipalities are taking gripe under non-existence of libraries in their jurisdiction, urging us to set up the same first before asking for the share of library cess,” said the official.