Thursday, November 30, 2023

Opening of Ram temple nears, construction of mosque yet to begin

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PNS | Lucknow

As the opening of Ayodhya’s Ram temple nears, the construction of a proposed mosque some kilometres away is yet to begin with the Indo Islamic Cultural Foundation saying it does not have the money even to pay the project’s “development charges”.

The IICF is a trust formed to build a mosque and other community facilities including a hospital on the five-acre plot at Dhannipur in Ayodhya as mandated by the Supreme Court in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid verdict. The land for the mosque complex was given to Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board by the state government.

“In February this year, the board of Ayodhya Development Authority gave its approval for the mosque project after some procedural delay. Thereafter, we came to know that the amount of development charges to be submitted to the authority for the entire project would run into a few crores of rupees,” Athar Hussain, spokesperson of IICF trust, told PTI on Tuesday.

“As we don’t have enough money to pay the development charges, we decided to defer the construction of a hospital at the site as it consists of around 90 per cent of the entire project. We will first build the mosque as the development charges for it will be less,” Hussain said. He hoped that in the next two months, the IICF trust will be able to mobilise funds for the construction of the mosque.

“We are in the process of mobilising funds for the mosque’s construction… Since the trust was brought into the public domain, different accounts were opened for the mosque, hospital and community kitchen. At the moment, the funds in the account of the trust are around Rs 40 lakh,” the IICF spokesperson added.

When asked about any fund raising drive for the project, he said, “Fortunately or unfortunately, this project was compared with the Ram Mandir project… The response that we expected from people for the mosque project could not be materialised.

“Now, we plan to approach some rich people of the community in metro cities so that fund mobilization for the project can become easier.” Dhannipur village is around 22 km from the spot of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.

In Ayodhya, preparations are in full swing for the grand opening of Ram temple in January next year. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to participate in the ‘pran pratishtha’ (consecration) ceremony at the newly constructed temple.

“The ‘pran prtaihstha’ ceremony will be held on January 22, 2024. Devotees will get 15 to 20 seconds each for the ‘darshan’ of Ram Lalla,” the head of Ram temple construction committee, Nripendra Mishra, had recently said.

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