Allotment made to Prathyusha Associates Shipping Private Limited has been cancelled.

The one-acre land of Zilla Grandhalaya Samstha allotted to Prathyusha Associates Shipping Private Limited in public-private participation (PPP) has been cancelled bringing victory to a two-year-old struggle against the move.

The Director of Public Libraries issued an order on May 5 citing a government direction stating that the lease-cum-agreement entered with Prathyusha Associates Shipping Private Limited in February, 2010, was terminated with immediate effect in view of the deviations observed under Section V B (I) of the lease-cum-agreement as the proposal itself was not beneficial to ZGS and the government.

Welcoming the move, MLC M.V.S. Sarma told reporters on Monday that a series of protests were conducted in a sustained manner under the auspices of Poura Grandhalaya Seva Samithi (PGSS) and even a people’s ballot opposed the allotment. He alleged that former minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao stalled the cancellation of the allotment. Even when he met the former Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy twice, he took a soft line against his Cabinet colleague.

Apparently the present order cancelling the lease came from the highest quarters, he said.

Mr. Sarma demanded that the site should be handed over to the government and in turn to the ZGS to take up construction of a building with clearance.

Library cess

The GVMC should pay the Rs.20-crore library cess it owed to the ZGS to enable it take up construction of the building. The MA&UD Department should also allocate funds. He and former Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University K.V. Ramana congratulated PGSS president B.L. Narayana and retired library employees for continuing the movement boldly.

Mr. Ramana described NGOs taking up the public cause and succeeding as a great achievement. He said the building to be newly constructed should be modelled on Ravindra Bharathi auditorium with separate facilities for senior citizens and children.

Mr. Narayana said the ‘unethical’ allotment of the site was fought by representing several times to the government and obtaining all the information through RTI and pointing out the legal lacunae. He demanded that the new building be constructed as early as possible as the present one housing the library was congested and senior citizens and women were hardly able to visit it. The new building should have conference halls and ample parking.

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