Digital library still a dream for Whitefield residents

Digital library still a dream for Whitefield residents

Unending wait

A view of the library building at Thubarahalli. Though the building is complete, there are no books or staff inside. (Right) Local MLA Arvind limbavali during the inauguration in 2017. Special arrangement

Nine years later and work on the city’s second digital library at Thubarahalli is still incomplete. Thanks to the BBMP’s non-payment of Library cess.

Local MLA Arvind Limbavali had promised to set up a digital library nine years ago and this project has once again been included in his task force that was started a month ago.

Initially, about 30 guntas of land in Thubarahalli near Whitefield was transferred to the BBMP by the revenue department. The BBMP was supposed to develop a public library with digital library facility in under a Public Private Partnership model.

The library building was completed by 2017 and the MLA handed it over from the BBMP to the State Library Department the same year. Many resident welfare associations participated in the inauguration programme as it was the first public service project to be completed in Mahadevapura. However, no infrastructure or staff or books are in place in the building.

Satish Kumar Hosamani, director, department of public libraries, said that the department is facing a cash crunch as the BBMP has not paid the library cess for some years now. “The interior works and appointment of staff were not done as we had no funds. If the BBMP pays us the cess, then we can do the pending works. Some minor works are going on inside the building,” Hosamani said.

“The Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Limited (KRIDL) has completed the plan for interiors and work will commence in a few months,” Hosamani said.

According to sources, the building was about to be converted into a party office by some elected representatives.

“When I visited the building for some reason, I got a little suspicious as many members of a party were present in the building. After inquiring, I inferred that a part of the building was to be resorted as a party office,” said a source from Whitefield, but did not reveal the party’s name.

“There is no way that the building will be converted into a party office. We will not allow it. It is a baseless allegation. The library is a public space and it will remain one,” Hosamani clarified.