‘Shabad Parkash Punjab Public Library and Information Services Bill’ continues to hang fire even after five years of it being promised by the state government.In a joint statement, Dr Bikram Singh Ghuman president and Dr Charanjit Singh Gumtala press secretary, the Punjabi Writers Co-operative Society Ltd stated that in October 2011, the-then Education Minister Sewa Singh Sekhwan had issued a statement that an ordinance will be issued by the state government to put the bill into effect before the enforcement of the election code (ahead of 2012 assembly polls), to set up a state central library, 22 district libraries, 141 block-level libraries, 157 town libraries and 12,282 village libraries.
The entire project was to take 10 years to complete. But nothing has been done so far. All other states have passed a similar acts to open libraries in every village. Tamil Nadu passed such legislation in 1948. Even Haryana in 1989, but Punjab has not even introduced the bill in the state assembly.They have demanded that the bill be passed by the state Vidhan Sabha in the current session. If this bill is passed, the libraries will not be dependent on the DPI colleges but it will have its own minister, directly responsible for libraries. It will have separate budget like other departments.
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