Only 15 lakh for 83 libraries per month
“Looking at the state of affairs, it seems that the State government wants the libraries to wither away, or why would it not flush the libraries with funds,” asks Madhava Rao, a retired railway employee and resident of Mettuguda.
"Looking at the state of affairs, it seems that the State government wants the libraries to wither away, or why would it not flush the libraries with funds," asks Madhava Rao, a retired railway employee and resident of Mettuguda. He adds, "I pay my property tax regularly and as part of it my library cess. It is my right to have access to fully stocked libraries but there are hardly any."
• In 2014, `5 crore was sanctioned by Telangana government but the department just received `1.13 lakh for central library.
• 42 outsourcing employees, 88 working staff, 184 pensioners are unable to survive with delays in salaries.
• Salaries are paid once in two months or once in three months
• Delayed payments and bills pushing librarians into miserable situations
• At few public libraries at Koti and Bashirbagh, due to lack of chairs, readers have to bring own chairs
Under Grandhalayam Act 1960, eight paisa from every one rupee of property tax collected is allotted to the library department but since year 2014 this system the government failed to transfer the promised percentage from property tax to libraries.
Speaking of the state of libraries, Padmaja, the Grandhalaya secretary said that Rs 15 lakh per month is granted to library department to look after all the 83 libraries in Hyderabad, these funds are only sufficient to pay common bills like paper, water and electricity. It is said that around Rs 50 lakh is in fact needed for the upkeep of libraries across the twin cities.
In 2014, Rs 5 crore was sanctioned by the Telangana Government but the department just received Rs 1.13 lakh for central library. "We could not even give acedemic books to students as we are unable to buy from Telugu Academy due to low funds, government at least must provide academic books for students to study in library free of cost,' said Sr Assistant Sudhir of City Central Library.
42 outsourcing employees, 88 working staff, 184 pensioners are unable to survive with delays in salaries. Salaries are paid once in two months or once in three months. "We are not paid on time, we are not recognized as government employee, we don't even have medical reimbursement facility, we are very much disappointed on failure of government providing basic facilities," say many of the staff.
Funding shortfall in 83 libraries in Hyderabad has resulted in low readership. In some libraries the staff does not come on time and in several places the peon opens and closes the library.
Basic infrastructure like tables to sit, books to read and water to drink lack in libraries. Delayed payments and bills pushing librarians into miserable situations, said a librarian at Warasiguda.
54 GHMC buildings were given to library department but it is said to be jointly used, such as, one room is considered as municipal office and other be used as a library and it is very much congested for both office and library' she added.
At few public libraries at Koti and Bashirbagh due to lack of chairs, readers get they own chairs for their comfort and takes back along with them. Roof in some libraries at Warasiguda are completely damaged and the rain water drizzled on reading books.