Bill to protect public records will be tabled soon: Minister

Action plan for maintenance of historical monuments on anvil

Bill to protect public records will be tabled soon: Minister

Speaking to reporters, he said the Government will table the public records Bill in the next session of the State legislature. A provision will be made for initiating stringent action against officials who fail to preserve the records properly, he added.

According to the authorities, this new bill might be extremely helpful for historians, researchers as well as students, who will be able to access documents at one centre.“Systematic preservation, classification and maintenance of records is extremely important. This might be especially useful for public as they don’t have to go to multiple agencies to access certain documents,’’said B R Jayaramaraje Urs, Secretary of Kannada and Culture and Information Department.

Some of the documents which would be available through the proposed recording agency  are property registry, standing committee resolutions of the various civic agencies and other documents which should be preserved more than 30 years. The agency will not only focus on preserving but also on systematic presentation of the information.

An exhibition is also being held at Bangalore Senate Hall, Central college premises to showcase interesting historical documents. Some of the documents which were exhibited were correspondences of the Dewans of Mysore, manuscripts of British administrative officials as well as papers relating to freedom struggle.

On drawing his attention to the Archives department destroying a large number of important files a few years ago, Karjol said he is aware of it and hence, he is trying to enact the legislation.

The Minister said the Archives department has been directed to digitise and laminate all records. The Government has released Rs 80 lakh for this purpose during this year, he added.

Historical monuments

The department is preparing an action plan for repair and maintenance of historical monuments in Mysore, Gulbarga, Bidar, Kittur, Srirangapattana and Bijapur. The plan will be implemented at the cost of Rs 100 crore. The State Government will receive this money under the 13th Finance Commission between 2011 and 2014, he said. Besides, Archeological Survey of India has prepared a separate plan for the development of historical monuments in Mysore at the cost of Rs 13 crore, he added.

Karjol said the department is framing rules under the Hampi Development Authority Act. The rules will be placed before the next cabinet meeting.

Bangalore habba

The State Government has decided to organise Bangalore habba from this year at the cost of Rs 2 crore. A committee headed by Bangalore in-charge Minister R Ashoka will be set up to chalk out a detailed plan in this regard, the Kannada and Culture Minister said.

Draft Bill

* Any person who removes or destroys public records from government archives will be punished for a period of five years.
* The objective of the bill is to classify, store and prevent documents of historical importance.
* It contains provisions for setting up a recording agency which will collect and store documents from various government bodies including BBMP and BWSSB.
* The bill enables the Department of Archives to procure historical data from private individuals including religious organisations. The recording agency can also procure documents from other sources or take it for lease for a period of ten years.

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