The Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) and developer DLF are involved in a tussle over running three public libraries in various phases of DLF city. Due to the differences between the two sides, the libraries have remained shut for the last one year.
These libraries were set up in the community centres of DLF City 1, 2 and 3. Gurgaon is a city that does not have too much to claim when it comes to reading spaces.
The MCG developed the libraries and gave a contract to a third party to run the libraries. An MCG official says the libraries are ready since December 2015 but the developer has objected to the subletting, resulting in the delay.
Residents’ welfare associations (RWA) said that after the MCG floated the tender, they applied for the contract and fulfilled all requirements, but nothing has happened since.
“We were allotted the tender for DLF City phase 3 library and keys were handed over to us but later, the developer and the MCG got into a tussle and the library is lying disfunctional,” RP Bajaj, RWA president of DLF City Phase 3, said.
“On September 19, we wrote a letter to DLF to cooperate in opening the library. We received a reply from DLF management on October 3 stating that it would tantamount to misleading the public and it is explicitly communicated that the management/administration/control of the library cannot be transferred to the RWA and any attempt made in that direction would be against the law,” RS Rathee, president, DLF Qutab Enclave RWA, said.
Due to the pending legal dispute regarding the status of libraries, residents are forced to seek other avenues. “As a retired person, I spend time reading books. I was very happy that we will have a library in our area. But it has been one year and there has been no development despite the library being set up,” col (retd) S Sharma of DLF City Phase 2, said.
Sunil Goswam of DLF E block 1 said, “The children these days do a lot of research work for their projects and a library is a must in the area. Else, parents have to run to places to get details. Delhi is the only option for us.”
MCG additional commissioner Amit Khatri said the civic body will invite fresh proposals to run the libraries as it had to retract the earlier request. The corporation spent ₹7 lakh on the infrastructure including books, and computers, in libraries but that seems to have proved fruitless, Khatri said.
The builder, however, is non-committal on the issue.
Divya Puri, assistant vice president of corporate communications and brand management at DLF Ltd, said, “The space has been provided for running the public libraries to the MCG and books are in place.”