Express News Service

MUMBAI:  Days after The New Indian Express detailed the destruction of a 156-year-old library by floodwater in Chiplun, the Maharashtra government announced a Rs 50 lakh package to salvage the damaged books and artefacts of the institution. 

Maharashtra’s higher and technical education minister Uday Samant said the government would expedite the revival of the Lokmanya Tilak Library and Museum at Chiplun. Thanking TNIE for its extensive coverage, working president of the library Prakash Deshpande said the report had prodded several individuals to call up them and extend help to restore historical documents and artefacts. 

“The state government’s help should reach us in time and not get mired in red tape. The financial aid should be directly handed over to the trust such that timely scientific restoration could be carried out,” he said. Unprecedented heavy downpour had raised the water level around the institution, submerging it under 12 feet water. 

By the time the water receded and the officials reached the artefacts and books, heavy damage had been done. The library, a repository of rare collections of books, including some that were printed two centuries ago, is also a treasure trove of old coins, pottery and historical reference books. 

This is not the first time, the library was affected by heavy rain and flood. Back in 2005, it had lost several tomes and artefacts when a flood ravaged the area. Sources said that more than 40,000 books were lost in the 2005 deluge, leaving the institution with only 15,000 tomes, which now face destruction.

Lightning activity on the rise in India over last two decades

In the past two decades, lightning activity has shown an increasing trend in the country, especially in the northeast, east and parts of peninsular India, Union Earth Sciences Minister Jitendra Singh said

8,862 people killed by lightening in the country from 1971-2019

Minimal rise in central IndiaThe increase in lightning activity in India was minimal over central India and moderate over the rest of the country, Jitendra Singh said