Registered book vendors who have supplied textbooks and reference books to Bangalore University libraries are up in the arms against the varsity authorities again over the delay in payments.
After their efforts to secure early clearance of outstanding bills went in vain, the vendors have now knocked on the doors of Governor and Chancellor H.R. Bhardwaj seeking his intervention.
Every year, Bangalore University organises an annual book exhibition wherein vendors display their books to facilitate the faculty of various departments to make their choices and place orders for the required books.
Though books worth more than Rs. 20 lakh were supplied in March 2010, the university authorities have still not cleared the bills, rued S. Rajan Iyer, who runs Books for Development.
“Last year, we had to resort to an agitation to ensure that the university cleared the bills. We cannot keep staging protests to secure our payments every year. Most of us are seriously considering a proposal to stay away from the annual book exhibition and stop supplying books to the university,” he said.
Mr. Iyer's opinion was endorsed by Ashok Jani, a sales executive with Sapna Book House. “We procured certain books from Australia and supplied them to the university. But, we are yet to receive payments,” he said.
Till two years ago, the book vendors were eager to meet the requirements of Bangalore University library and would go an extra mile to procure the required books as payments would be made within a maximum of three or four weeks.
‘There is no delay'
However, the university's Finance Officer, M. Wazeer Ahmed, sought to play down the incident. “There has been no delay in payments. The exhibition was held only in March. Bills will be cleared in due course. I agree that there had been a delay last year. But not this year,” he said.
But Mr. Iyer has, in a letter to the Governor, pointed out that their payments had been delayed for frivolous reasons this year as well. “There seems to be no end to our disappointments with supplies to Bangalore University,” he has said.