‘Dues have been pending for over two decades now’
Members of Zilla Grandhalaya Samstha (ZGS) has demanded that the Greater Visakhapatnam (GVMC) remit the library cess that it had collected from people to the library immediately, here on Monday.
In a representation to the GVMC Commissioner, the ZGS members pointed out that in the new property tax proposal, the civic body has earmarked 8% as ‘Library Cess’ to be paid by the taxpayers, but there is no indication of remittance of the library cess, which has been pending since decades.
B.L. Narayana, president of ZGS, said that the GVMC has been defaulting in remitting the Library Cess to the Zilla Grandhalaya Samstha (ZGS) for over two decades now. The total amount the GVMC owes to the ZGS is now around ₹90 crore. In such circumstances, the GVMC has no moral right to collect library cess from the people, as it does not intend to remit back the same to the grandhalaya, he said.
He said that all the libraries in the district are neglected and are in a bad shape. The District Central Library lost its prime land and the building due to the neglect of the officials concerned, he said.
For over a decade, the DCL has been functioning in a building meant for a commercial godown. Even though the land is restored to the ZGS, it had not been taken over from the CRPF and no efforts are being made to reconstruct the DCL building.
Of the 16 branch libraries in the city, many of them are in a bad shape.
The Children’s Library near Poorna Market area (Rangireeju Street) in One Town area may collapse anytime. The Gandhigram Branch Library needs to be relocated. The Bheemuni Gummam branch Library in Anakapalle is located in an old building, and not suitable for readers, he said.
“We demand that the dues are remitted to the ZGS and only then the library cess be collected from people,” said the members.
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