Pune: PMC plans to build a new library, above the 'old' one!

Desperate to spend funds to ensure they don't lapse if unutilised, Standing Committee has approved a Rs 73-lakh tender to build the new library; while the one inaugurated in August 2014 is still waiting for books before it can formally begin

Despite having a big library and study centre in the recently built Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Cultural Centre at Ghole Road, the Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) Standing Committee on Wednesday approved a tender worth Rs 73 lakh, to build a third floor there for a students’ library.

The new library will be built above the Sane Guruji Granthalaya at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru cultural centre
Wasted funds?: The new library will be built above the Sane Guruji Granthalaya at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru cultural centre. Pic/Shashank Sane.

On the other hand, the Sane Guruji Library in the same building has been waiting for books for past four months, indicating that the civic body is merely interested in spending funds to ensure they don’t lapse if unutilised, instead of actually making facilities available for Punekars.

Sane Guruji Granthalaya
Sane Guruji Granthalaya has been waiting for books for the last four months, from the time it was inaugurated in August

Caught unaware
Surprisingly, even the manager of the cultural centre, Arjun Kumavat, was unaware of PMC’s decision of building an additional floor to the recently completed ground-plus-two storey structure, that was inaugurated by former Deputy Chief Minister, Ajit Pawar, in August 2014. He was under the impression that the standing committee had passed the tender to purchase books for Sane Guruji Library.

“I came to know that the committee has approved funds for purchasing books and other material for Sane Guruji library. As soon as the books arrive, we will start the library,” Kumavat said. However, when informed that the PMC is interested in building an additional floor in the building and not to equip the existing library with books, he cautiously replied, “Oh, then we should welcome this proposal as it will add another library for public.”

Initially, the PMC was interested in building a public library in a joint venture with Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) on its campus. But as the varsity was reluctant to provide land for the project, the civic body decided to build an additional floor in its cultural centre at Ghole Road.

PMC Speak
When contacted, PMC Standing Committee Chairman, Bapu Karne, said, “After the SPPU administration refused to provide land for the library, we decided to shift the project to our own property. We have done a structural audit of the cultural centre where the new library will come up.”

When asked about the books that the Sane Guruji Library, situated in the same premises, is waiting for, he said, “The Standing Committee has approved a tender to build a third floor. Once the construction work gets over a fresh tender will be drawn for books.”

A Standing Committee member and Shiv Sena corporator, Prithviraj Sutar, said, “We want to establish a full-fledged library against the backdrop of SPPU’s Jaykar Library. Hence, we decided to approve an additional floor at the cultural centre where, besides a library, a career guidance centre for students is also proposed in the plan.”

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