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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

15 years on, MC still to shift public library 'soon'

Harshraj Singh, Hindustan Times  Ludhiana, January 29, 2014
First Published: 19:43 IST(29/1/2014) | Last Updated: 19:45 IST(29/1/2014)

Even after 15 years, the municipal corporation (MC) has failed to shift its main public library which is running under unsafe conditions at an old building of MC near Zone-C MC office on Gill Road.

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The MC had proposed to shift the library to a hall, which was taken on lease around 15 years ago at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan.

However, the dilapidated library, where the roofs could fall anytime, has still not been shifted. After years of dilly-dallying, the officials still claim that it will be shifted 'soon'. Ironically, there is no librarian available for the past three years at the library which also lacks new books.

“In the absence of any sign board about the library, people from the area don't even know that it exists. Only a few people visit it as the building is very unsafe. The plaster from the ceiling keeps falling down,” said Jaswinder Singh, a local resident.

Even the staff feels unsafe working under such conditions. Requesting anonymity, an employee said, “Despite charging a mere`15 annual fee for membership, there are only a few members who come to read books here. The poor condition of the library building is one of the main reasons. It should be shifted to the main centre of the city where the residents can come easily.”

The picture is not too different at MC's other libraries - one at Children Traffic Park and the other at Nehru Rose Garden. The condition of the library at Children Traffic Park is pitiable with broken ceilings inviting mishaps.

According to the MC, there are around 24,000 books in these three libraries, but a majority of them are more than 20 years old, which is another reason the youth don't pay attention to these libraries.

Interestingly, the MC passed an electricity connection for a new library at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan during the Finance and Contract Committee in July 2013. However, according to sources, the new place still awaits an electricity connection.

The washrooms and stairs are also crying for attention and another unsafe room has become a dump.

When contacted, MC secretary Hartej Singh said, “We are soon going to shift the library at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan. Once the library is shifted, we will bring new books.”

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