THOUGH THE encroachment adjoining the mosque at Kilol Park was removed in the aftermath of mob fury recently, scores of Waqf properties worth crores in the State capital are yet to be freed of illegal occupation.
In fact, the illegal constructions on 83-odd Waqf properties in the State capital alone, including a dozen state government offices, are causing huge losses to the Madhya Pradesh Waqf Board.
“The Police Control Room, Traffic police station, Police Headquarters and many other government offices are constructed on prime land owned by Waqf”, said an official of the Waqf Board, adding that graveyards had disappeared in Bhopal due to such constructions.
“If the encroachments can’t be removed, at least the rent of the property should be paid to the Waqf Board but nothing has happened despite repeated moves of the Board to settle the matters,” he said.
As per Section 55 of Waqf Act 1995, the encroachment has to be removed through the district administration, however, it is practically impossible to remove the unauthorised constructions unless there is government’s intent to do the same.
Construction of a road near Sindhi Colony and a Power House at Bada Bagh graveyard are amongst the recent cases. In all, 14 government offices and buildings are illegally constructed on Waqf land.
Besides umpteen private constructions have illegally come up on Waqf land over the years. Ironically, often the caretakers of the property have been found involved in fraudulent sale or unauthorised construction.
If only the main properties are freed of encroachment in the State capital like those around mosques, graveyards and sarais,
the financial condition of the Board would be strengthened manifold and lots of welfare works could be initiated, claim insiders. Across the state, Waqf land worth hundreds of crore is said to be under illegal occupation.