BBMP to take over libraries across city

BBMP to take over libraries across city

Concerned about dwindling revenues, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) will soon take over the reins of all the public libraries within its limits.

Concerned about dwindling revenues, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) will soon take over the reins of all the public libraries within its limits.

A proposal has been sent to the government already. A detailed report on libraries in the city will be submitted soon as well. 

“There are about 200 libraries in the BBMP limits that are not under our control. Currently they are under the Education Department, administered by zilla panchayat of Bengaluru Urban district,” BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad told DH.

“We collect about Rs 100 crore cess in property taxes a year. Instead of handing over the cess to the government, we can utilise the entire amount for infrastructure development,” he added. The BBMP proposed the same in a recent meeting with chief secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar. The chief secretary agreed on the proposal and has asked for further details.

According to the BBMP, the zilla panchayat spends Rs 70 crore in library employees’ pay every year and utilises the remaining Rs 30 crore for infrastructure development works outside BBMP limits.

Manjunath Prasad further said one portion of every library shall be specifically reserved for materials related to competitive exams post handover to the BBMP.

“This subject will be placed before the council in the upcoming meeting this month and will be sent to the government later. We expect the libraries will be handed over to us within two months,” he said.

Opposition leader Padmanabha Reddy told DH that this is a very good move as it will help develop infrastructure. “This will help us retain the ownership of these libraries. Currently, corporators have no authority over these libraries,” he added.

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