Mrunal Manmay Dash

Palpable tension prevailed at State Library in Bhubaneswar on Thursday after students and parents locked up the main gate protesting power and water supply failure at the Odisha government-run institution.

The students alleged that despite repeated complaints to the authorities their problems have not been addressed yet.

Protesting the mismanagement, the students and their parents locked the main gate of the library for more than two hours.

Speaking about their problems, a protesting student said, “Power supply failure is actually a perennial issue in this library. Apart from that, the library has a lot of holidays. It remains closed on every second and fourth Saturday apart from Sundays and State government holidays. How will a student prepare for exams if the library is closed for 10 days in a month?”

“The library has a seating capacity for 400 students, which is inadequate when 4000 students come to study here every day. Moreover, there is nobody to listen to our problems let alone alleviate them,” a student rued.

“There is no power since last morning. As there was no one at the library to complain about the power supply, the students asked the security guard to start the electricity generator. But he denied. Students queue up to study here before 7:30 in the morning. But the library staff arrive at 10 am. This is the situation our students have to face every day,” alleged a parent.

Asked about the matter, the Under-Secretary of Odisha Culture Department, Laxmidhara Behera said, “The electricity transformer was damaged in lightning last evening. We informed the power distribution authorities immediately, who inspected the damage and carried out the repair works. As far as the diesel generator set (DG) is concerned, it would have been unsafe to run the DG during the repair of the transformer.”

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