Delhi: Eight public libraries built with Swaraj Fund to be opened today | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Delhi: Eight public libraries built with Swaraj Fund to be opened today

These libraries are unique in their own way as they have been put together from the citizen local area development fund, or Swaraj fund, and were taken up after people chose them as priority projects in mohalla sabhas conducted in various assembly constituencies last year.

delhi Updated: Dec 25, 2016 09:17 IST
Vishal Kant
These libraries are unique in their own way as they have been put together from the citizen local area development fund, or Swaraj fund, and were taken up after people chose them as priority projects in mohalla sabhas conducted in various assembly constituencies last year.
These libraries are unique in their own way as they have been put together from the citizen local area development fund, or Swaraj fund, and were taken up after people chose them as priority projects in mohalla sabhas conducted in various assembly constituencies last year.

Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia will inaugurate eight public libraries constructed under the Swaraj Fund in the Karawal Nagar assembly constituency in north east Delhi on Sunday.

These libraries are unique in their own way as they have been put together from the citizen local area development fund, or Swaraj fund, and were taken up after people chose them as priority projects in mohalla sabhas conducted in various assembly constituencies last year.

Though the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has started working on projects promised during the Mohalla Sabhas, the fate of Swaraj fund for the current fiscal (2016-17) itself hangs in balance.

Officials say that the constitution of mohalla sabhas and creating a project management unit under it are yet to get approval from the Lieutenant Governor. The fate of Rs 350 crore, allocated under Swaraj fund in the annual budget, hence, by the AAP government remains unclear. With only three months left in the current fiscal, officials said they were not sure if funds will be utilised at all this year.

“The process of holding mohalla sabhas across the city and then implementing the projects chosen as priority is a long-drawn one. Eight public libraries, construction of which were decided in mohalla sabhas in Karawal Nagar assembly constituency on a pilot basis last fiscal (2015-16), will be inaugurated on Sunday. Any delay in approval could lead to lapse of funds this year,” said a senior revenue department official.

In June, the Arvind Kejriwal cabinet had cleared a proposal to constitute 2,972 mohalla sabhas, besides creating a project management unit (PMU) called Mission Swaraj to co-ordinate the entire project. Both proposals were then sent to the L-G for his approval.

Mohalla sabhas were conducted in 11 assembly segments including Karawal Nagar in May last year. Development works worth R 50 lakh in each of the 11 assembly segment were decided in these meetings.

Karwal Nagar MLA and water minister Kapil Mishra said the government had not lost hope on holding such sabhas before the end of this fiscal.

“The initiative is a unique step to ensure citizen participation in governance. It would be for the first time that eight libraries in an assembly segment are coming up, which was actually decided by area residents themselves. Even if the L-G clears the approval now, the government will at least hold these sabhas,” said Mishra.