City Shrines Lack Maintenance, Khuddam Question Waqf Board’s Role

  Khanqah Moula Srinagar | File Photo

People seek accountability of donation money

Srinagar: The residents of Srinagar city on Friday alleged that despite getting hefty donations, the Waqf Board over the years have miserably failed to look after the maintenance of shrines in the city.

Mohamad Yaseen Zohra a local resident of Khanqah-e-Maula in the downtown Srinagar who has been the Khadim at the shrine from his childhood said that since the Central Waqf Board has taken over, the area around the shrine is in dilapidated condition.

“Other than collecting the donations they hardly care about other requirements of the shrine, while pointing out at the heaped mounds of the snow,” Zohra said.

Another Khadim, Mohamad Altaf Qureshi at a shrine in Khanyar said that the non-seriousness of the Waqf Board could be gauged from the fact that decades old flooring has not been changed, and even the installed ACs are lying defunct.

“It is not only the Waqf Board which is taking care of shrines. There are people and followers of Auliya  who donate generously. In this freezing cold, the hammam of the shrine has to be kept warm for devotees so that hot water remains available for ablution, but the Board hardly cares about the stock of firewood,” Qureshi said. “Despite repeated requests, they hardly pay heed towards the requirements of the shrine.”

“Where does the collected donation go,” Khadim questioned. “People who have faith come here and we don’t have any accommodation for them if they are forced to stay behind for various reasons.”

“Most devotees desire to come here for night prayers but it is the callous approach of Waqf Board which has failed to make night accommodations for devotees available,” he said.

A local vendor selling snacks outside the shrine in Khanyar said that he often witnesses stray dogs entering the lawns of the shrine.

“Look at the lawn of the shrine you can see the stray dogs, though the Waqf Board has many employees deployed here they only care about the collecting donations,” he said.

“Look at the deplorable conditions of the kiosks. Why isn’t Waqf Board people able to beautify it despite collecting donations in crores,” he said.

Official of the Waqf Board who works as a coordinator for two shrines in the Srinagar city said, “Whenever there is any requirement of a work which is under our domain we do that.”

“Our top priority is to look after the maintenance of the shrines and we provide a proper receipt of the donation we receive,” he said.

On fire safety precautions taken by Waqf Board, he said that after the cloudburst hit the shrine, the Board carried out an audit, after which fireproof wires were used where ever necessary while more fire extinguishers were also kept available.

A Shopkeeper outside the Makhdoom Sahib (RA) shrine said that keeping in view the flow of devotees the place should have been neat and clean while pointing towards the stairs of the shrine.

“The stray dogs lying all around makes it difficult for children, women, and old age people to visit the shrine,” he said. “If so many employees are working in Waqf Board can’t they manage just two employees who will keep these stairs free from dogs.”

“What is the Waqf Board doing with the money which people donate for the maintenance shrines,” he questioned. —KNO 

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