By Rafique Chakar 

The building of the library was almost completed but the library was never made functional.

The construction of a library was started in Gurmukaan area of district Punjgur in the year 2003 at an expense of RS 50 lac, but it still remains incomplete even after 14 years have passed.

According to an official record, there are 35 public libraries in district Punjgur but most of them are in bad condition. In some libraries, there is a severe shortage of books whereas at some places they don’t even exist at all.

Aman Guchki, an M Phil scholar from Punjgur, told Pak Voices, “We have to go to Quetta or Karachi for research, that not everyone can afford financially due to transport charges and living expense.”

Aman told further, “The scholar has to arrange for transport and residence far from home and the troubles in the process make research a secondary level priority.”

The rooms are being used by the drug addicts, tell locals.

Hafeez Gohar, a famous artist, who is a resident of the area told Pak Voices that the library building has become a centre point for drugs instead of education and books. He further said, “In the evening many drug addicts of the area are found on the premises of an incomplete building.”

Maqbool Ahmed Baloch who is a teacher in Punjgu told Pak Voices, “Students have to face severe hardships due to non-availability of libraries in the area.” He added that students have to go to Karachi or Quetta when they are unable to access books and materials related to research at any local library.

Nazir Ahmed Baloch, Xen Building & Repairing Department, speaking to Pak Voices admitted that higher officials of the department had committed corruption in the funds of the library building. He further told that the department is conducting an inquiry into this matter adding “Library will be made functional soon with additional funds of RS 10 lac.”

The writer is working with PakVoices as a citizen journalist from Punjgur.

Translated by Salman Tahir