House Tax Notice To UP Library Visited By Leaders During Freedom Struggle|
Given the minimal financial support the library gets, it is very tough for it to even meet day-to-day expenses leave alone paying such a hefty amount as house tax
Bharti Bhawan, once a meeting point for freedom fighters, now a public library in the Loknath area of Sangam city, Prayagraj, has been served a house tax notice from the Prayagraj Nagar Nigam (PNN). The PNN letter claims that the total tax liability on the library is ₹2.84 lakh, including the interest over the due tax not been paid since 2018-19.
Woe Tale Of Library
According to the librarian, Swantara Pandey, it gets tough to meet day-to-day and annual expenses like electricity bills and the salary of staff, given the meagre income of the library. Further adding, he said the Bharati Bhavan Library has no source of income as it does not charge any fees from its readers. The electricity bill is paid through an annual state government grant of ₹ 2 lakh. "If the tax burden is imposed on Bharti Bhavan like this, it will end up getting closed very soon, and people will be forced to go to private libraries," said Pandey.
Till 1994, when there was a municipality system in the district, the municipality used to give an annual grant of ₹15,000 to this building. With the passage of time, the grant was reduced, and in 1998, it was again reduced to ₹10,000 per annum, reports The Hindustan Times.
The library is associated with several freedom fighters and was established by Bharat Ratna Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya. It runs on the annual grant of ₹2 lakh given by the state government, and the interest from a few fixed deposits (FDs) opened with the monetary help extended by some of the prominent personalities, including former MP MM Joshi, former governor of the state Moti Lal Vohra among others.
Library staff claimed that during India's freedom struggle, several prominent leaders used to sit in this building and give direction to the movement. Before Independence, the library delivered books to the jailed patriots from the library. It has been the central meeting place of great litterateurs like Suryakant Tripathi' Nirala', Mahadevi Verma and Sumitra Nandan Pant.
Social worker Baba Abhay Awasthi said the Bharati Bhavan Library houses 600 years old manuscripts. According to him, Madan Mohan Malaviya, Balkrishna Bhatt, Jawahar Lal Nehru and Purshottam Das Tandon, among others, used to avail themselves facilities of the library.
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