- The library is closed for the last nine years
- The library premises is now being used as a workshop for repairing SCC vehicles
- The library building is being used as temporary accommodation for SCC staff
- Thousands of books of the library are now ruined as a result of being left in piles for a long time
- SCC mayor claims that the library will be reopened soon
The Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) has turned a popular public library of the city into a dumping ground for wrecked vehicles.
Pir Habibur Rahman Library at Topkhana in Sylhet city was run by the city corporation. Readers used to throng the library every day. But, this library has been closed for the last nine years as the city corporation office was temporarily shifted to the library in 2012. Now, the library has nothing but a signboard.
The library premises are now being used as a dumping ground while the library building is used as temporary accommodation for the staff of the city corporation. Some departments of the SCC are also located at the library building.
Expressing displeasure over the closure of the public library for a long time, eminent educationist of the city Abul Fateh Fattah said the library was contributing to the intellectual development and reading habits of the city dwellers. Due to the closure for a long time, the young generation is losing their reading habits.
He demanded that the public library be reopened as soon as possible.
According to SCC sources, Pir Habibur Rahman, a prominent politician, was the convener of Rashtrabhasha Sangram Parishad of Sylhet in 1952. After his death in 2004, the Sylhet Municipal Library was renamed Pir Habibur Rahman Library. In 2009, the city corporation demolished the one-storey building of this traditional library and constructed a five-storey building.
The sources said in 2012, the old building of the SCC was demolished to make way for a multi-storey building. The SCC's office was then temporarily shifted to Habibur Rahman Library. At that time, thousands of books from the library were taken to the Sarada Memorial Hall, another traditional building nearby. All the books are now ruined as a result of being left in piles for a long time.
At that time, the SCC officials assured that the library would be reopened after the completion of the new SCC building.
In January 2018, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the new building of the SCC. After the inauguration, the SCC office was permanently shifted to the new building from the Pir Habibur Rahman Library.
But, even after three and a half years, the library has not been reopened yet. All the books of the library are out of reach of the readers as those are still piled up inside the Sarada Hall.
Syed Belayet Hossain Limon, president of Pir Habibur Rahman Smriti Parishad, said a conspiracy is being hatched to erase the name of Pir Habibur Rahman by delaying the reopening of the library.
SCC Mayor Ariful Haque Chowdhury, however, claimed that the library will be reopened soon.
He said it was closed temporarily for the construction of the SCC's new building. Although activities of the city corporation have started in the new building, it has not been possible to relocate all the departments yet. However, we will shift all the SCC departments from the library building and start library activities soon.
"We are working to make it easier for people to study in this library in a more beautiful environment. Efforts are also being made to increase the collection of books," said the mayor.