Monday, August 8, 2011

Plans for digital library remain a distant dream in Fazilka

Praful C. Nagpal
Fazilka, August 7

The ambitious plan to convert the library of the MR Government College into a digital library, a premier educational institute since the pre-partition days, remains unfulfilled so far. The building of the digital library has not been completed due to paucity of funds even when a sum of Rs 36 lakh had already been spent on the new building of the library.

At present, the library is being run in an old portion of the college building. The library has a total of 22144 books on record but it has no librarian for the past seven years since the retirement of the last incumbent.

Rakesh Saha, a restorer and Junior Lecturer Assistant (JLA) Chuni Lal, working on temporary basis from PTA funds, are managing the library, which has a transaction of around 400 books per day during the academic session. The books are stocked in five-decade-old cupboards. Some of the books are tattered. Recently updated books are seldom added to the library.

With the development of the latest information and technology techniques, the necessity of converting the library into a digital one was felt a long time back.

The University Grant Commission (UGC) in 2009 sanctioned the funds amounting to Rs 36 lakh for the construction of a new double-storeyed block for the digital library. However, due to the escalation of the cost of the project, the building was left incomplete about a year back. As per the contractor Manoj Kumar, the work related to steel railing, plinth protection, boundary wall, aluminum main gate, some electronic equipment, submersible pump motor, water cooler with RO system is yet to be carried out reportedly due to paucity of funds.

Eminent socialite and educationist Raj Kishore Kalra has demanded that requisite funds should be sanctioned to make the project operational. Executive Engineer, PWD, Prem Kumar said at least Rs 10 lakh is required for the completion of library and installation of electronic gadgets.

Hence, the library has still not been handed over to the college authorities. For this reason, the building has virtually become a place of merry making for some anti-social elements.

Tribhuvan Ram, officiating principal of the MR Government College, said the college officials want the library building to be completed soon and its control be assigned to them to ensure its proper functioning and maintenance.

No comments: