The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Venue cloud over library centenary party

Unfinished construction of the chosen venue has put a spanner in the centenary celebrations of National Library. The library authorities have lined up a host of events to mark the occasion with either the President or the Prime Minister to be invited at the inauguration, but a question mark looms over the date.

Coming up at an estimated cost of about Rs 80 crore, a building on the library’s New Alipore campus, named Bhasha Bhavan, had been chosen as the venue for the centenary show. It will house a 580-seat capacity auditorium. The Central Public Works Department (CPWD), entrusted with the construction, was supposed to have handed over the building to the National Library authorities by March 2003. Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had laid the foundation stone for Bhasha Bhavan in 1989.

“We are yet to get possession of the building as the construction is not finished,” said director, National Library, Ramanuj Bhattacharjee on Saturday. Bhattacharjee has dashed off letters to the central government, urging it to take an initiative to speed up work. He has also convened an emergency meeting of members of the library’s board of management on September 3. “We need to know when we will get possession of the building,” Bhattacharjee said.

The library authorities plan to shift about 25 lakh documents to the building. A bronze statue of Rabindranath Tagore will also be installed there.

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