Hyderabad: Minister for Minorities Welfare Mohammed Ahmadullah was on Thursday made to realise that his formal visit to the historic Mecca Masjid near Charminar is not just a photo-op session, but he, in his capacity as a Minister, has to take note of the fact that the conditions there are pathetic.
A formal visit to the historic Mecca Masjid before the advent of the Holy Month of Ramzan is an integral part of the serving Minister for Minorities Welfare’s annual calendar and Mr Ahmadullah had more or less hurried through his visit on Thursday when his pleasantries with the scribes present there were ended by a non-Muslim journalist.
This journalist pointed out to Mr Ahmadullah the pathetic conditions prevailing in the Masjid.
The Minister was forced to observe with his own eyes the pathetic conditions of the toilets. He was also informed of the leaking roof in the toilet area, the absence or non-functionality of the taps and the fact that a devotee cannot perform ablutions (Wazu) there.
Mr Ahmedullah’s discomfiture did not quite end there. He was also forced to see for himself the mounds of garbage and experience the same stench which the common devotees have to bear through the year.
The Minister’s discomfiture made him turn to the GHMC officials who were present there and inquire from them about the apparent negligence.
Mr Ahmadullah was informed that tenders are being called for the repairs.
This answer prompted Charminar MLA Ahmed Pasha Quadri to question why tenders for the comparatively small work were being called when works worth huge amounts are being allotted on nomination basis.
Neither Mr Ahmadullah nor the GHMC officials were in a position to answer the MLA’s question.
The Minister however announced that Rs. 1.265 crore has been sanctioned for construction of overhead water tank and repairs of the existing water tanks in the Masjid.
However the works will be taken up after the Ramzan is over.
The Minister also announced that cloth and polythene covers for the chandeliers in the mosque will be provided at a cost of Rs. 1.40 lakh.
Earlier, Hyderabad Collector Natrajan Gulzar had visited the Majsid, posed for the benefit of photo-journalists at the black slab ‘Takhth’ which had been shattered by the bomb blast in 2007, and also near the huge chandeliers inside the prayer hall and left the spot.
Besides this, the AP State Wakf Board Chairman, and higher officials from the GHMC, AP Transco, Police and HMWSSB were conspicuous by their absence.
Incidentally the government had promised to replace the shattered ‘Takhth’ with a new one immediately after the bomb blast, but numerous representations by various sections have so far failed to make any impact.(INN)