Maharashtra govt may lease out encroached Wakf plots

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By Accommodation Times Bureau

The State Government , blighted by the monolithic encroachment on Wakf Board Plots, has now on the ledge of leasing the plots and thinking of utilizing this revenue in developing infrastructure for the use of community.

The government is currently incurring the loss of crores of rupees of revenue, as the encroachers are using the land free, while many of these cases are awaiting  for the conclusion  in different courts, said the officials from the minority affairs department

“Many of the plots have been developed illegally and are being commercially exploited and the government is not only losing its plots but also a lot of revenue. So we are planning to lease these plots to the encroachers and charge them with retrospective effect,” said an official.

Charitable trusts can take these lands on lease and may build infrastructures such as hospitals, schools and welfare centres for the community, said an official. He also said that there is a provision in the Wakf Board Act, 1995 to lease out these plots, this will also prevent new encroachments on these lands.

The state government has also started a second survey of all Wakf properties in the Maharashtra State. A pilot project has been initiated in Pune and Parbhani and then it will be conducted across the state. The last survey was conducted in 2002.

There are 98,000 acres of Wakf land in the state , out of which around 70,000 acres has been encroached or transferred upon. The Wakf land is an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law and donated for religious or charitable purposes with no intention to reclaim it.

TOI had reported in March how a 55-acre plot in Nashik which had been donated by Shahjahan to a mosque was illegally declared as non-Wakf and given to a developer who was constructing a township there.

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