Hyderabad: 100 mosques lie neglected

Wakf board under fire for failing to renovate mosques and restart prayers.

Hyderabad: The Telangana State Wakf Board is under fire for its failure to renovate about 100 mosques located in and around the city and start prayers there. The mosques have been entrusted with the board for decades and date back to the Qutb Shahi and Asaf jahi era.

The mosques are in a dilapidated condition, with portions having collapsed, dissuading people from offering prayers. Ironically, the board has no idea of where exactly the mosques are located though there is a mention of them in its records.

Mohammed Akram, an activist, who has taken up the task of reopening the “Ghair-abad masjids”, (where namaz is not performed) said that there were a total of 135 mosques in and around the city. “About 27 were renovated and prayers started after the intervention of the local youth groups and religious organisations. The TS Wakf Board is helpless as the mosques are under court cases or it simply has no judicial powers to clear the encroachers,” he pointed out. He added that the mosques were located in Shaikpet, Lal Darwaza, Chatrinaka, Aliabad, Balapur, Karwan, Vikarabad, Shamshabad, Golconda and other areas.

Ilyas Shamshi, a social activist, points out that though the TS Wakf Board has some inspectors to keep track of its properties, it failed in the upkeep of the mosques. “In most of the properties where the old mosque exists, there is a clash over the ownership of land with the revenue authorities staking their claim,” he said.

He added that the TS Wakf Board had never discussed the renovation of the old mosques in the city and opening them for public. “In most of cases, the TS Wakf Board came into the picture only when the public took the onus of opening the mosque after renovations and starting prayers. In the Masjid e-Ghairabad at Alijahpur in Golconda, the board announced a grant of '5 lakh after the dispute became a public issue,” said Osman Al Hajri, president, Deccan Wakf Protection Society.

However, TS Wakf Board Chairman, Mohammed Saleem said that the board, along with the revenue officials, had taken up a survey in the state to ascertain its properties. “Based on the survey report we will identify the mosques where prayers are not being performed as they are in a dilapidated state. All mosques will be identified after the survey and cleaned up or renovated,” he said. Mr Saleem gave assurance of providing funds for the mosques. He added that a few mosques were under the control of the archeological department and they were taking up the issue with them. It may be recalled that there was tension in Alijahpur area of Golconda a few days back, pertaining to the mosque. However, it was resolved by Thursday after authorities demarcated and handed it over to the mosque.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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