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Bhopal: Drain water floods library, hundreds of rare books lost

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Bhopal: Hundreds of precious and rare books housed in Iqbal library were lost to water overflowing from drainage chamber. The library was inundated after chamber passing below it exploded on Saturday leading to overflow of sewage water inside the library. Hundreds of books turned into pulp as water entered into the library. The overflow of the sewage chamber was a fault of civic body but it is the book lovers across the city who will have to bear the cost of administrative apathy.

The non-governmental library, served as literary heritage of city since its inception in 1939. It housed hundreds of books some of them rare and do not have any other edition available. Library secretary Rasheed Anjum said that the water started overflowing on the day and before they could do anything, damage was done. He said that there were books which were written 100 years back and their original copies were available with us. These historic books have now become a history, he said.

Though we are not in a condition to assess the exact loss, we are sure that most of the books manuscripts have been damaged, he added. Books destroyed include a dictionary named Tehzeebulliqat written by Mahzzab Lucknowi, it was one of the oldest dictionaries available in the country. It is now totally turned into pulp, he lamented.


Anjum also named a few other books which have been damaged including Mughal Kaleen Bharat, 1961 adding that all the four volumes of the book have been destroyed. Waqayat Daroot, Huqumat Delhi written by Basheer Ahmad also had four volumes. These books were written in 1919 and now turned into pulp, he said. This is a loss to be borne by city’s bibliophiles who had membership here, Anjum said.

On Saturday the drainage chambers below the library exploded leading to overflow of water inside the campus. Meanwhile, local corporator Mohammad Sawood said that the chamber was weak which led to the explosion. He said that the Bhopal Municipal Corporation will soon fix the problem. Now, whatever BMC does for the institution, no exercise can undo the loss caused to the history lovers of city.