The building housing the Anna Centenary Library (ACL) in Kotturpuram will be converted to accommodate a super speciality paediatric hospital, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa announced on Wednesday.

A decision in this regard was taken by the Cabinet on Tuesday, the Chief Minister said in a statement.

The library would be shifted to the proposed Integrated Knowledge Park on the DPI (Directorate of Public Instruction) campus in Nungambakkam.

The park would also house all directorates working under the control of School Education Department, a training centre, seminal halls, a sports facility, a studio for school education and Incubation Centre. In view of the proximity of the DPI campus to Connemara Public Library and National Depository Library, the Cabinet felt that it would be ideal and appropriate to locate the library within the proposed Integrated Park.

“So far, such a hospital has not been set up in India. By establishing a super speciality hospital dedicated to interests of children, it is certain that Tamil Nadu would emerge as the top ranking State in protecting the interests of children,” the Chief Minister added.

The library will function from the present premises until the entire process of setting up of the Knowledge Park is complete.

Once the ACL is shifted to the new building on the DPI campus, the building that now housed the ACL would be used for the paediatric hospital.

The nine-storeyed Anna Centenary Library (ACL) building, costing about Rs. 172 crore, was declared open on September 15, 2010 by the then Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi. It could accommodate 1,250 persons. Regarded as a large library in the country, the facility included a huge collection of books in different languages and journals besides an auditorium, a Braille section, an amphitheatre and a food court.

In July, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in her visit to the city, addressed a huge gathering at the ACL's auditorium.

Earlier, the AIADMK government, after shifting back the Secretariat to Fort St. George, decided to convert the new Assembly-Secretariat complex on the Omandurar Government Estate into a multi-super specialty hospital-cum-medical college.

Reacting to the government's decision, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president Mr Karunanidhi said, “I am leaving it to the judgment of self-respecting Tamils and Tamil scholars. I do not want to say anything else.”