THE STATE Government has mooted a drastic measure to protect, maintain and augment the income from over 1700 properties worth Rs 5000 crore under the MP Waqf Board. To this end, the Government is keen to bring the Waqf properties under the Public Premises (Eviction) Act to check encroachments and regularise the board’s possession.
Principal Secretary, Backward Class and Minority Welfare, Dr Bhagirath Prasad told Hindustan Times that by bringing the Waqf properties under the Public Premises (eviction) Act, problem of encroachment could be effectively addressed.
“Efforts are also being made to make the existing properties more financially viable by implementing promoter-builder scheme, ” he added.
Rent accruing to the Waqf Board from these properties is ridiculously meagre despite the fact that these are exempted from the Rent Control Act.
Now the State Government plans to make sure that the properties generated more income through rent.
Dr Prasad said that Waqf properties are allotted in the name of the Almighty and income generated from them is supposed to be spent on the poor and the needy. However, a large number of properties are caught in the legal wrangles and encroachments.
Between year 2000 and 2006, a total 881 cases of encroachments were registered with the Waqf Board but only 100 were settled. In the settled cases too eviction process is underway.
The remaining cases could not be dealt with strictly due to lack of resources with the board and leniency of the societies responsible for protection of the properties.
Bhopal with 80 encroachment cases tops, followed by Raisen ( 65) and Sehore ( 40). To get the encroachments removed, the Waqf Board has recently delegated eviction power to tehsildars in their jurisdiction.
The board has also empowered revenue officials of district administration to collect reports on Waqf properties and initiate action against encroachers through an amendment in Section 54 of the Waqf Act, 1995.
Earlier, the Act had delegated power to act against encroachment only to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the board.
Administrator of MP Waqf Board Umar Farookh Khatani opined that the amendment would help in protecting Wakf properties worth crores across the State.
“The cases of encroachment pending with the board will be settled quickly as the board has got additional manpower following the amendment ,” he added.