By Md. Ali, TwoCircles.net,
New Delhi: There are around 158 Wakf properties in Delhi which are under the illegal encroachment of Archeological Survey of India.
Delhi Wakf Board (DWB) has accepted this fact, in reply to an RTI query by Afroz Alam Sahil, an RTI activist. Most of these properties are worth millions of rupees as they are located in the prime locations of the capital city, Connaught Place for instance.
This startling revelation confirms what the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) of Wakf had to say in its 9th report; a report which was also tabled in the both Houses of the Parliament.
The JPC report points out that, “Metro cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Banglore, Hydrebad, Mumbai and other major cities have prime Wakf properties which would be worth several thousand crores ….In the capital city of Delhi alone there are several Wakf properties in the fully developed commercial areas.”
In Delhi, it is not only ASI which has encroached. As per the list of encroached Wakf properties furnished by the DWB to the JPC on Wakf, out of 685 encroached properties, 373 have been encroached by the public while 114 by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA). Then, 26 properties are held by different government agencies.
The report further states that 123 properties were in prime locations — including Connaught Place, NDMC and MCD areas — which the Central government had transferred to the Delhi Wakf Board but they are still under litigation for more than two decades.
When it comes to the phenomenon of encroachment of Wakf properties, it is not limited to Metro cities alone. Across the country it has taken place on a “massive scale.”
According to the JPC report, it is estimated that “nearly 70 to 80 per cent of valuable Wakf properties worth several thousands crore rupees spreading all over the country have been encroached upon or illegally occupied.”