Digital libraries yet to materialise despite funding

Model of YSR Digital Library
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Model of YSR Digital Library 

Highlights

  • The government has sanctioned funds of Rs 16 lakh for the construction of each digital library
  • Officials said that they didn't find land in many villages

Rajamahendravaram (East Godavari District): Even after a year has passed since the funds sanctioned for digital libraries, it is surprising that the work on libraries has not progressed anywhere. It is suspected that diversion of funds to other schemes and works as the reason behind the inordinate delay.

A year ago, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy announced that digital libraries would be granted to all villages. About 15 to 30 digital libraries have been sanctioned to each constituency. But till now, not a single digital library has been completed in any Assembly constituency. But digital libraries are being discussed in many places during Library Week celebrations that are going on now.

Digital libraries with modern technology are proposed to enhance knowledge among rural people. But the construction work was not materialised. The purpose behind the establishment of digital libraries is to provide facilities to the unemployed youth to prepare for State and national level competitive examinations while staying in their villages and also it would have all the facilities so that software is useful for the employees.

An action plan has been prepared to carry out work in three phases within the panchayats. The government has sanctioned funds of Rs 16 lakh for the construction of each digital library. The responsibilities of supervision of the works have been entrusted to the engineering officers of Panchayat Raj department. The State government has also released a model for these buildings under the name of YSR Digital Library.

Proposals have been sent for the constructing 10 libraries in Rajanagaram mandal of East Godavari district. Digital libraries have been sanctioned for seven villages in Seethanagaram mandal. It was proposed to set up digital libraries in 10 villages in Korukonda mandal and 19 libraries in Kovvur constituency. However, work has not started on a single library.

Similar situation is prevailing in the remaining constituencies across the district. In the reviews, the top officials are talking about secretariat buildings, and RBKs, but never mentioned about digital libraries. In the background of allocating funds of Rs 16 lakh, the site was procured in some villages and bhumi puja was also conducted. But the officials said that land has not been found in many villages.

The government guidelines include provision of newspapers, magazines, three desktop barcode printers, a scanner, anti-virus software, high-quality, high-speed internet, data centres for storage, chairs and tables for people to sit. All these cannot be arranged unless building constructions are completed. Land acquisition is a problem in many places. When The Hans India asked, Joint Collector Ch Sridhar said that the officials are monitoring these works at mandal level as per the schedule. He said soon the construction of digital libraries will start everywhere and added that there is no problem with site procurement.

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