The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) had allocated an amount of Rs 4 crore for road repairs, whitewashing of mosques and street lighting before the festive season of Ramzan started. The amount was also meant to spruce up the Old City before Ganesh Chaturthi. But only a small part of the sanctioned amount has been released so far, ensuring that even during the festive season, the surroundings of places of religious worship remain a picture of neglect.
While the GHMC had received requests for repairs to about 300 mosques in July, only 100 of them received attention so far. “There is no money to even finish the works that we have taken up,” a GHMC official said.
GHMC South Zone commissioner L Vandan Kumar said some of the works could not be taken up as the government did not allot funds. G Hanumantha Rao of Ganapati Diksha said: “The government apathy is deplorable. Ganesh festival is only three weeks away and there is no movement. The roads here are in a bad shape and people will have difficulty to reach Ganesh pandals. On the Ganesh immersion day, trucks carrying idols could face breakdowns. There is an urgent need to repair all these roads,” said Hanumantha Rao.
Every year the state government makes special arrangements prior to festivals such as Ramzan, Ganesh Chaturthi and Bonalu. “We have told officials how poorly they had carried out road repairs and temple maintenance during the Bonalu festivities. But they have done nothing yet. Now that the Ganesh festival is approaching they should finish the works identified earlier,” C Ramchander, a resident of Lal Darwaza said.
With the Ramzan festival on now, the historic Mecca Masjid, Chowk ki Masjid, Toli Masjid, Mird-e-Munawwar ki Masjid and the Jama Masjids at Barkas, Golconda and Rein Bazaar woefully lack proper sanitation and drinking water supply. There are no streetlights around these mosques. There are no shelters in the open areas of Mecca Masjid where about 10,000 people congregate every day.
“We offered taraweeh (special night prayers during Ramzan) namaz in the rain on the very first day of Ramzan. There are only two shamiyanas. We need more to accommodate the increasing number of worshippers. There is no response from the government,” Mohammed Imran, who offers prayers five times a day at the mosque, said.
Chowk ki Masjid, at the end of Lad Bazaar, is a picture of utter neglect. The works left incomplete after laying sewerage lines on the main road have made it difficult for the devout to reach the mosque.
At Barkas Jama Masjid there are only two wazu khanas (places for washing oneself before the prayers) while the demand is for at least two more. “We had sought funds from the minority welfare department but our pleas have fallen on deaf ears,” mosque management committee sadr (in-charge) Mohammed Shabbir said.
Abdul Ghafoor, a Shah Ali Banda resident, said the government agencies in the city have not learnt the basic lessons in work coordination. For instance, the road leading from Lad Bazaar towards Hussaini Alam has been dug up repeatedly by different government agencies. It’s a picture of utter neglect, and the people here have no reason to rejoice even during the time of festival, their surroundings reminding them that the government cares little to meet any of the promises made while wooing their communities. TOI