Hyderabad: Iconic state library to get a makeover


The State Central Library, also known as the Asafia State Library at Afzalgunj, which flourished alongside many iconic Nizam-era landmarks, is about to acquire a new lease on life. The Asafia library, founded in 1891, is one of the largest public libraries in the country, with a collection of about 5.5 lakh books, newspapers, and other publications. Also read - MyVoice: Readers' Opinions August 6, 2022 ADVERTISEMENT Following the completion of various projects, including the conservation of heritage Boalis (stepwells) and other heritage structures, Arvind Kumar, Special Chief Secretary for Urban Development, will undertake the restoration of the Central Library. 

Arvind Kumar, together with the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) and a heritage conservation team, toured the library to assess and finalize its repair. Earlier that day, on August 29, AIMIM chairman and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi paid a visit to Telangana Central Library and urged the state government to urgently upgrade the historic building. The historic library is losing its allure as it struggles to stay up with the technologically savvy new generations. Despite its rich history and possession of rare and old books, some dating back to the 17th century, it is losing readership owing to library neglect.

Due to a lack of upkeep, portions of the roof and walls break on a regular basis, posing a hazard. Students are greeted by broken benches, tables, cobwebs, empty chairs, and dusty books. During the rainy season, the water leaking from the ceiling poses a serious risk of irreversibly damaging irreplaceable books. According to the employees, the library's poor state is primarily due to a lack of money. Previously, the preservation agency had created estimates of Rs 3.2 crore for the library's restoration, but no work was done.