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March 14, 2023 10:25 pm

Shrines In J&K To Have Permanent Illumination System

File photo of an illuminated Hazratbal Dargah

Waqf Board Asks Engineering Wing To Put Out Concrete Proposal, Move Aimed To Save Rs 30L Spent Annually

Srinagar- In a move aimed at reducing cost on the illumination of shrines and mosques on festivals and special occasions, the Jammu and Kashmir Waqf Board has decided to install a permanent modern illumination system across all the religious places under its management in the Union Territory.

The shrines which are managed by J&K Waqf Board are usually illuminated during Urs days or special prayers.

According to an order by Ishtiyaq Mohiuddin, Executive Magistrate Tehsildar, J&K Waqf Board, a copy of which lies with Kashmir Observer,  reads that a currently, a temporary archaic illumination system is being installed during special occasions, that is hired on rent.

“The practice has large amounts of recurring financial implications as well,” the order reads.

“The hon’ble Chairperson J&K Waqf Board has desired that a permanent illumination system on modern lines shall be installed at all Waqf controlled Shrines/Khanqas, to provide a brighter & efficient lighting system that shall enhance the beauty & aesthetics of the Shrines”, the circular reads.

Accordingly, the circular adds that the Engineering Wing has been instructed to put up a concrete proposal in this regard, outlining the benefits & costs of a permanent modern illumination system.

“The proposal should include the cost estimates, installation timelines, & maintenance requirements, among other details,” the circular reads, adding that a separate proposal be submitted for all heritage structures keeping in view their preservation & fire safety measures.

Notably, the Waqf board led by BJP leader Dr Darakhshan Andrabi has issued a slew of orders ever since she was made Chairperson of the board. While the Board is facing criticism from various political parties for their alleged interference in the religious affairs, Andrabi says that the Waqf board aims to promote religious activities only and end political interference in the board.

Meanwhile, Executive Magistrate Waqf Board told Kashmir Observer that the board earlier used to issue tenders for installing the illumination system, depending on the size of the shrine.

“However it would cost around Rs 30 lakh annually,” he said, adding “It was a time consuming and expensive process. So, we decided to save the money and install the illumination system permanently,” Mohi-ud-Din said.

He further said the shrines on the hillock with a permanent illumination system will present a scenic view during nights.

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Auqib Javeed

Auqib Javeed is special correspondent with Kashmir Observer and tweets @AuqibJaveed