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Waqf properties to be turned into malls, schools

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The Union Minority Affairs Ministry has big plans for the commercial and institutional utilisation of Wakf Board land across the country, including building malls, schools, hostels and offices.

Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told The Hindu that Wakf Boards had 6 lakh acres of land, with five lakh registered properties at its disposal with a rough market value of lakhs of crores. Mr. Naqvi said the income from such properties was just around Rs. 150 crore.

“We have already identified 2,000 such properties that have good commercial value and can be developed into either commercial property or even hostels for girls, skill development centres, among others,” he said.

“Ever since Wakf Boards have been set up, there has been an issue related to vacant properties being encroached upon by what I call ‘Wakf mafia’,” he said.

He had been in touch with various States to identify properties and to devise plans for the development. “The Haryana government agreed to develop properties in Palwal and Faridabad,” he said.

“The governments of Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Kerala have shown a lot of interest in the scheme,” he said.

He said the revenue generated by the scheme would accrue to State governments, and, properties of Wakf Boards are to be earmarked for development programmes aimed at helping minority communities.

There have been several high-profile cases dealing with allegations of encroachment of Wakf properties in the past, including one involving a former Union Minister.

“We are also digitising our land records, and, we hope to complete the exercise by the end of the year,” Mr. Naqvi said

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 10:35:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Waqf-properties-to-be-turned-into-malls-schools/article14628672.ece

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