Friday, January 9, 2009

How a Garbage Dump Became an Open Air Library

Karnataka can now boast of a unique open air library and this became possible only when the administration decided to take things in their own hands. Read about how a garbage dump has now become a place frequented by the locals.

Till recently, an open space within four walls of Raichur Fort near the city bus stand was used to dump garbage by hotels and petty shops around it. People in the area were using the space as a toilet.

The open space surrounded by fort walls located within the historical Mecca Darwaza, an entrance towards the city on the western side of Raichur Fort falls under the limits of protected historical monuments. Dumping garbage or using it as a toilet is prohibited. The historical importance of the area was in a state of neglect owing to alleged lethargy of the officials concerned at the Archaeological Department here in providing proper protection to it.

Things started changing when the district administration took the initiative to clean the open space at the Mecca Darwaza and fixed gate at its entrance. It has been converted into an open air public library and open for public use after Deputy Commissioner J. Ravishankar inaugurated it formally on January 26.

The library, with has all leading and local newspapers and magazines, set up at the open space within the four walls of the historical fort is being maintained jointly by the district administration and the City Central Library. The city municipality, which had provided water and electricity at the site, has taken up the responsibility to maintain cleanliness around it.

There is a good response from the public as nearly 200 persons visit the library every day, which is open from 8.30 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6.30 pm.

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