Tamil Nadu

Ranade Library sealed over ₹79 lakh rent dues

A view of the Ranade Library which has a collection of over 8,000 books.

A view of the Ranade Library which has a collection of over 8,000 books. | Photo Credit: R. RAGU


The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department on Thursday sealed the 117-year-old Ranade Library and the Srinivasa Sastri Hall located above it, run by the South Indian National Association, citing rental arrears of ₹79 lakh to the Kapaleeswarar temple in Mylapore.  

Sources in the department said that reconstruction had been done without taking permission. The property, measuring three grounds and 736 sq. ft., is located on Luz Church Road, next to the Mylapore Club. The association had not paid the rent fixed by the department despite several notices, it has been sealed and taken possession of, said an official source.  

The free library has over 8,000 books from the 1800s and 1900s. The library provides newspapers and magazines for readers. The rent from the hall, which is ₹4,000 for three hours, is used to run the library.

Sources in the association said only tiled roof on the first floor was repaired. “Not even an inch of additional floor space has been constructed. The repairs had to be carried out since the roof was falling. And since the building belongs to us and the land to the temple, we were not aware that we had to take permission for undertaking repairs. We are ready to discuss and sort out the issue and pay any rent dues fixed fairly,” said a source.  

Historian V. Sriram said the library was started, thanks to V. Krishnaswami Aiyar, a top-ranking lawyer, judge and Member of the Governor’s Executive Council of Madras. “He was a great philanthropist. It was named after M.G. Ranade, who was a social reformer and a legal luminary of Bombay. Later in the 1950s, the Srinivasa Sastri Hall was built on the upper floor and rapidly became a great cultural centre,” he said.  

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Printable version | May 19, 2022 11:00:37 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/ranade-library-sealed-over-79-lakh-rent-dues/article65431446.ece