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State Central Library in for massive revival

Hyderabad: Here is some good news for heritage and book lovers in Hyderabad. Left to languish in apathy for decades, the State Central Library at Afzalgunj on the banks of river Musi is up for restoration following a decision taken by the State government to revive the splendor of the structure.

Setting in motion the revival of the Nizam-era building established in 1891, Urban Development Special Chief Secretary Arvind Kumar, along with officials of the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA), Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and a heritage conservation team, visited the site on Wednesday.

Taking to Twitter, Arvind Kumar said the State Central Library was part of Telangana’s heritage. “It’s part of our State’s rich heritage and we will take up a comprehensive repair and restoration,” he tweeted.

Officials from the Municipal Administration and Urban Development Department said works on the structural stability and repair of bookracks and cast iron stairs would be taken up. “The plan is to restore the building to its original grandeur,” an official said.

While executing the restoration works, priority would be given to preserving the heritage value of the grand edifice, the official said, adding that the grand structure had tall walling with the ceiling, too, rising high. “It is a representation of the planning and constructional skills of that era,” he said, adding that the MA&UD Department would also take up beautification works and add infrastructure in the open places within the premises of the library.

The State Central Library, also known as Asafia Library, is one of the biggest public libraries in the country and has a collection of over five lakh books, newspapers and other periodicals. As part of a major digitisation exercise, the library has scanned 45,704 books in Sanskrit, Telugu, Hindi, Urdu, English, Arabic and Persian, summing up to 1.67 crore pages.