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Metro rail to derail State Archives?

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Curtains down?: A view of the AP State Archives and Research Institute in Hyderabad.
Curtains down?: A view of the AP State Archives and Research Institute in Hyderabad.

W.Chandrakanth

The archives have a unique collection of historical documents

HYDERABAD: Andhra Pradesh State Archives, which is already on the verge of decay, is now facing the threat of dislocation from the proposed Metro rail project now.

Officials of the prestigious storehouse of knowledge have been told about the railway line plan that demands that one of its stations be located here and hence it becomes imperative that the archives moves out to some other place. It looks as though time and history are conspiring together with powers that be to decimate a one-of-its-kind building in the country.

Not many are aware of the fact that the archives located at Tarnaka has a unique collection of historical documents including Government records, kaifiyats, sanads, GOs and correspondence among various departments. There is a separate catalogue division for preserving Moghul documents here.

The present archives was originally a Central Records Office of the erstwhile Hyderabad State. It was later converted into State Archives to be located in a 76,000 sq. ft of area to house a museum, library, documentation cell, printing division and a film archives division.

Perhaps, this is the only place where one can lay hands on precious Moghul records apart from those from the era of Bahamanis, Qutbshahis’ to British period. Hundreds of Persian, Urdu and Marathi records are found here. In addition, there are records of Hyderabad and Madras States. Former professor Vakulabharanam Ramakrishna says the archives are the only office where one can find micro films of records of India Office in London. The archives once had a staff of 210 but today it has 75 vacancies. Though orders had been issued for the appointment of 10 record assistants, authorities had been ordered to pay their salaries office expenditure. Grant given to the archives came down from Rs. 23 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh now. There is no one to digitise the records now though equipment is in place here.

Does this past have a future?


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