Agartala: The footfall at the library of the Tripura Legislative Assembly has remained abysmally low, an official posted in the library said.

According to the official, only ten to twelve out of 60 Tripura legislators visit the library for books, records or documents.

The library at the state legislative assembly was established in the year 1972.

“While most of them hardly show up in the library, it has a sitting capacity for 32 people,” the official said.

The official, on the condition of anonymity, said, “Some MLAs are very frequent in the library. They borrow books and return within the stipulated 30-day time period to borrow more books. When they find time, they also spend time reading at the library premises. But, most of the MLAs do not really visit the library. On rare occasions, they do come but they are not regular visitors.”

He said that BJP MLA Dilip Kumar Das, CPI-M MLA Ratan Bhowmik and IPFT MLA Dhananjoy Tripura frequently visited the library.

“They always look for the new legislation approved by the state assembly, old records, valuable books on different subjects and papers like gazette notification,” said the official.

The official also informed EastMojo that some senior politicians who are no longer members of the state Assembly still visit the library and spend quality time reading books. “Former Left MP Ajay Biswas, former Congress MLA Tapas Dey and ex-MLA Nakul Das are some of the veterans who come here often. They are even more frequent than the present MLAs,” the official said.

Apart from the legislators, the library also caters to the need of the researchers, professors, and scholars of different disciplines.

“Generally our library looks empty. But, every day we have visitors who are engaged with different kinds of data collection or in research-oriented jobs. They are the ones who are our serious readers,” he added.

The library has a rich collection of about two lakh volumes of printed books, reports, assembly debates, gazetteers, periodicals, and other documents published by the government with 25,000 titles.

As per the existing laws, MPs, MLAs, former MPs, MLAs and staff of their offices along with bonafide research scholars are entitled to use the library.

The official said, on average, books worth Rs one lakh are procured depending upon the advisories issued by the secretary, speaker, deputy speaker and library committee.

The official also said that there are around 50,000 books on different subjects. All kinds of government reports, financial reviews and appropriation of bills are also stored in the library-cum-information centre.

Top sources in Tripura Assembly Secretariat said, “After the winter session of the state assembly, digitisation work for this library will start. This is the second biggest library of the state after Bir Chandra State Central Library. We are committed to develop it with all technical advancements keeping parity with the present situation.”

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