JKPCC may not hand over SPS library until its Rs 7 Cr. is paid
Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Project Construction Corporation (JKPCC) said the Department of Libraries and Research Talking to The Kashmir Monitor, the official, who requested not to be quoted by name, said the construction of the 55,000-square feet library was “almost done and ready for handover”. owes them Rs 7 crore from the construction of SPS library at Lal Chowk. “However, I don’t think JKPCC will hand over the building to the Library Department unless they don’t settle their dues,” said the senior official. The official said the JKPCC would be in “serious trouble” if there occurs any delay in the payment by the Library Department. As per the data, the estimated cost of the library at the start of its construction in 2003 was Rs 17 crore. However, it has now escalated to Rs 34 crores. Mukhtar-ul-Aziz, Director Libraries & Research J&K, is himself “doubtful” about the handover of the under-construction library, which has missed plenty of deadlines in the past, the recent one being December 31. Aziz said the elevator is still under construction and may go on until “March end”. “I have asked the JKPCC to hand over the library without the lift. We don’t need that as the public seating, I suppose, is on the ground floor,” he said. “If they don’t hand over the library without the lift, then it will go on until March, and I am very doubtful of missing that deadline too.” The construction of the SPS library has been going on for past 14 years now. The director then blamed the JKPCC for not keeping him updated with the construction status. “The media gets all the details, but as a Director of the libraries, I don’t,” Aziz said. “I have taken the matter to the JKPCC several times, but not once have they bothered to reply me. Just like everyone, I am eagerly waiting too.” However, the JKPCC official denied all the allegations levelled by the Director. “No, just on Saturday we held a meeting with the department’s Director and the Secretary. I updated him on the complete construction status. It’s totally wrong,” he said. The official also said that the JKPCC is ready to hand over the library without the lift too. “It’s the department’s call. They want to inaugurate without the lift, let them. Why would we mind?” said the official.