THE STATE Congress Minorities Cell on Tuesday submitted a memorandum to AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh seeking the inclusion of Muslim-dominated localities in infrastructure development works funded by the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).
The Cell further urged Singh to lobby for amendment of existing rules to enable the constitution of a Wakf Authority in each city to safeguard properties donated for charitable purposes. A Cell delegation led by State Convener Mohammed Iqbal Khan submitted the memorandum to Singh and Union Minister of State for Agriculture Kantilal Bhuria at Residency Kothi.
In a statement issued here Khan accused the BJP regime of completely ignoring minority-dominated localities like Khajrana, Chandan Nagar and Azad Nagar when it came to providing basic amenities.
These areas have no sewage or drainage infrastructure worth the name, few roads and dispensaries and an almost total absence of community halls, gardens parks and other recreational facilities, charged Khan.
As the Centre is providing crores of rupees for sprucing up civic infrastructure under the Mission it must ensure that the benefits percolate to all residents. For this to happen it was necessary that cities with a sizable Muslim population like Burhanpur, Khandwa, Mandsaur, Ratlam and Neemuch be included among JNNURM beneficiary cities, the statement demanded.
In the four cities already included in the Mission - Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur and Ujjain - care must be taken to ensure that Muslim neighbourhoods get an equitable slice of the civic infrastructure development pie.
The statement concluded with a need for setting up a Wakf Authority as the BJP Government had proved incapable of preventing encroachment and illegal occupation of properties donated by Muslims for their needy brethren.