Amritsar’s 99-year-old library faces neglect, sees decline in visitors

Published on May 29, 2019 11:12 AM IST
The library, which can seat a hundred people, not only has been waiting for newly published books over the past two years.
The Pandit Moti Lal Nehru Municipal Library at Town Hall in Amritsar.(Sameer Sehgal / HT Photo)
The Pandit Moti Lal Nehru Municipal Library at Town Hall in Amritsar.(Sameer Sehgal / HT Photo)
Hindustan Times, Amritsar | ByMandeep Kaur Narula

Amritsar’s 99-year-old Pandit Moti Lal Nehru Municipal Library, a treasure trove of 20,000 books on Punjabi literature, the Partition of British India and biographies in English, Hindi and Urdu, is witnessing a drastic decline in number of readers due to negligence of authorities.

One of the biggest and oldest libraries in the city, built in 1920, it is housed in a double-storey building in the historic Town Hall, Heritage Street in Amritsar, a five-minute walk from the Golden Temple.

However, the library, which can seat a hundred people, not only has been waiting for newly published books over the past two years, but is begging a makeover in infrastructure as the building is in dilapidated condition.

Librarian Aanchal Sharma said, “The library which earlier saw 700 readers daily, now only records 100 readers. It also lacks computer and internet facility. People are also unable to locate the library,” Sharma said.

Visitors in the Pandit Moti Lal Nehru Municipal Library at Town Hall in Amritsar. (Sameer Sehgal / HT Photo )
Visitors in the Pandit Moti Lal Nehru Municipal Library at Town Hall in Amritsar. (Sameer Sehgal / HT Photo )

The government is also proposing to shift the library to a new place but the decision has not gone down well with the readers.

When contacted, mayor Karamjit Singh Rintu said, “I will work to provide requisite facilities and new books to the library and plans have been made to renovate the building.”

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