Hyderabad: Even as the government prepares to issue an order to allocate Rs 12 crore for the construction of a new Haj House on wakf land near Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, the Haj committee has decided to oppose the move. “We don’t want the Haj house to be built on wakf land as it entails ownership problems. The Wakf Board, as custodian of the property, cannot lease it out to us for more than three years. Hence it would continue to be the caretaker and dictate terms to the Haj committee on space utilization,” CEO of the Haj committee Mahboob Peeran said. “This is what happened when this Haj house (located in front of the Public Gardens, Nampally) was built a few years ago”, he added.
Responding to appeals from the Haj committee that it should be given land to construct a new Haj building as it does not have total control over the present premises, the government has recently identified 10 acres of land in Mamidipally village, about 5 km from the airport. It also decided to grant Rs 12 crore for the construction of the new Haj house.
Haj committee chairman Syed Khaleeluddin Ahmed said that he has appealed to the chief minister to provide government land instead of wakf property. This way, the committee would be able to utilize the property for providing necessary facilities to the pilgrims going for the Haj pilgrimage, he explained.
The present 11 floor Haj house was built in early 2000 on the wakf land at a cost of Rs 7 crore, of which Rs 1 crore was given by the Haj committee. But the Wakf Board took over the building and gave the Haj committee only three floors for its functioning. Faced with the space shortage, it resorts to setting up tents for the pilgrims on the adjoining open space that also belongs to the Wakf Board.
“The government has directed us to take the wakf land even after minority welfare minister Mohd Ahmadulla Syed urged the chief minister to provide revenue land, Haj committee chief executive officer Mahboob Peeran said.
Committee chairman Ahmed said the government is spending Rs 1 crore every year to provide facilities to the pilgrims. Once the new Haj house is constructed this expenditure will come down, he added.
He said the committee would also use the new Haj house during the non-season period for vocational training classes for the Muslim students and others. TOI