Wakf Board forgets to implement Hazratbal Shrine master plan


Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Wakf Board has failed to implement the much needed Hazratbal Shrine master plan.

The government had formulated a master plan years ago as the shrine was unable to accommodate all the devotees especially on special occasions.

"Under the plan, government had proposed to expand the shrine area by way of removing the surrounding residential houses and increase the shrine capacity including over roof of Sheehkhana, capacity in ground floor, removal of Sheehkhana stairs to gain space for prayers and some more steps were to be taken for the convenience of devotees.

Sources said the authorities have failed to start work on the master plan as it didn't release the money on the pretext of non-availability of funds.

"The reality is that Wakaf Board has no deficiency of funds as it earns hundreds of crores of rupees annually from its assets," they added.

According to the details available with KNS, the J&K Wakaf Board owns around 170 buildings, 1350 shops, 1400 rooms, over 30 showrooms, 86 sets, 50 halls, besides dozens of other assets by from where it generates crores of rupees annually. A large number of revenue also comes from donations from the devotees who visit different shrines across Kashmir.

The official details reveal that Wakaf Board owns hundreds of shops and rooms at Hazratbal, Zero Bridge Complex, Old Madina-Atul Aron Building, building complex at Gupkar, LIC Building, Hamdani Building Babademb, Taqya Building, Mulkangan Fateh Kadal building No 1 and 2, buildings at Makhdoom Sahib Hawal, Gojwari, Peerwari Complex, building at Hawal, Qutib-ud-Din Pora building No 1, 2, Old Gousia School, New Complex Soura, assets of buildings and shops at Kila Masjid, Shahi Masjd, Rustamgari, Malik Sahib Soura, Peer Maqbara Dalgate, Batwara, Old Batwara, Drugjan, Ropa Reshi, Dadra Building, complex at Kaka Sarie, Nalband Pora, Maisuma, Jenab Sahab Soura, Karanagar, Munwarabad, Char-e-Sharif, Ashmuqam, Janban Wali Baramulla, Chandanwari Uri, Awantipora, Qaimuh, Watlar, Nadhal, Lar, Tulmulla, Watlab, Aham Sharif, Baba Reshi, Kakpora besides renting out godowns and rooms.

The Wakaf Board is also running a university, college and some schools.

One of the officials of the Wakaf board said that until and unless the houses around the shrine are not removed the execution of the master plan is impossible.

No official from Wakf was available for comments to speak on record over the matter. (KNS)


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