District library auditorium revenues up in absence of Rabindra Bhawan
GUWAHATI: Revenue generation of the auditorium situated within the District Library at Dighalipukhuri, Guwahati has increased consistently over the past few years. The authorities maintain that the demand for a space for holding various cultural programmes in the city has helped in keeping the auditorium consistently utilised.
Officials informed that the auditorium was established in 1975 and has since been serving as a prominent place for cultural exchange in Guwahati.
“Since there are very few auditoriums and cultural centres in the city, the district library auditorium has remained as one of the limited venues which has been easily accessible to the locals over the years,” N Bordoloi, in-charge of the library auditorium, informed G Plus.
The auditorium has been operational since 1975, said officials. It is also one of the major sources of revenue generation for the district library.
Elaborating on the procedure of renting the auditorium, Bordoloi said that applicants will first have to submit an application to the directorate of library services after which they would need to take law and order permission from the commissioner of police. However, government officials are not charged any rent if they want to use the auditorium to organise any official programme.
Bordoloi told G Plus that the auditorium remains occupied for 10 to 15 days in a month on an average.
He added that at present they generate around Rs 3.40 lakhs in a year from renting the auditorium.
The officials at the district library are now planning to renovate the auditorium by converting it into a state-of the-art facility.
“The place has gone through some wear and tear over the years and we have now decided to undertake some renovation work. It will most likely be started in January,” informed officials.
Bordoloi said that there are miscellaneous tasks which have to be undertaken under the renovation process but the stage platform is a major issue which needs to be fixed.
Refurnishing and repair of chairs, fixing of screen, new sound panels and new lighting is also on the agenda, said sources.
However, officials say that they have been witnessing higher than usual bookings for the auditorium over the past few months. They said that the rise in the number of people seeking the auditorium on rent is because Rabindra Bhawan is currently shut down due to the ongoing renovations.
Home to Guwahati’s cultural gatherings and exchanges, Rabindra Bhawan has been undergoing repair and overhaul works which is progressing at a slow pace. As a result, the auditorium has been temporarily shut for the repairs.
Authorities informed G Plus that Rabindra Bhawan was closed down in October last year. However, the revamp work began only in February this year.
“We have begun the work as per the blueprint provided to us,” said Murali Das, site engineer of the company which has been entrusted with the job after a tender was issued for the same.
Das added that the entire renovation of Rabindra Bhawan will take almost a year to complete, till which time the auditorium will remain shut.
Proposal sent for increasing rent
Further, in order to boost the revenue generated from the district library’s auditorium, the authorities said that they have requested the state government to increase the rent of the auditorium.
“Since it is up to the government to ultimately decide the rent of the auditorium, we have sent a proposal to the directorate of library services to increase the current rent by Rs 6000. We are hoping that the rent would be increased within the next few months,” said Bordoloi.
He added that at present, the rent of the auditorium is fixed at Rs 4,000 per day which they have asked the government to increase to Rs 10,000.
Additionally, the district library too is set to undergo a complete overhaul in the coming months with the authorities planning to introduce a host of new features including digitisation of books and motivational programmes.
In a first, the authorities are set to introduce a digital system where the members will get a chance to issue e-books and e-journals from the library.
Further, authorities said that the official website of the library will soon display an online catalogue of available books. This will help readers to browse through the book titles available, sitting in the comfort of their homes. Till now, 3500 books have already been added to the digital catalogue.
This apart, students and other library visitors will also be allowed to bring their own books to the library to read. There will be a separate section dedicated for this and this new feature will be called ‘own book reading section.’
“This feature will be introduced keeping in mind the students who do not have access to studying places, especially during examination time. They will be able to bring their books as well as laptops to study,” informed Krishna Bordoloi, the librarian.