Leaky roof of library dampens learning spirit at district central library in Anna Salai
When TNIE visited the library, water was leaking onto several books and the staff had placed a bucket to collect water, wherever possible.
CHENNAI: Nearly one lakh books run the risk of being damaged at Devaneya Pavanar district central library in Anna Salai due to a leaky bathroom on the first floor. The 56-year-old library has been lying in a state of neglect for several years. The library staff claim that for the past three months, water has been leaking from the bathroom. Apart from forming puddles on the floor, it is also damaging the books, the staff added.
When TNIE visited the library, water was leaking onto several books and the staff had placed a bucket to collect water, wherever possible. Several books, including a Hindi collection, were soaking wet. The staff, on condition of anonymity, said that a proposal for renovation of the library for `37 lakh has been submitted to the government. They are awaiting approval to begin work.
“This not only results in the damage of books but may also affect the structural integrity of the building if it is allowed to continue leaking,” the staff said. Sources said outlets from the first and second-floor bathrooms were inadvertently blocked during the underground construction work carried out by Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) a few years ago.
The situation worsened during the recent rains. The library staff were hopeful that repair would be carried out after the metro work, but nothing was done. The library, named after Tamil scholar and writer Devaneya Pavanar and located at the Local Library Authority complex, houses over one lakh books on the ground floor.
When contacted, officials at the directorate of the public library said they were unaware of the situation. “We are unaware of the leaky roof. However, school education minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi, during an inspection, has asked us to prepare a plan for renovation and expansion of the library,” an official said.
The 56-year-old library has been lying in a state of neglect for several years. The staff claim that for the past three months, water has been leaking from the bathroom damaging the books