Survey of Wakf properties drags on for 13 years

Thirteen years after it began, the survey of the properties of the Karnataka State Board of Wakfs, is yet to see the light of the day.

The task which began in 2001 is only half-way through after more than a decade.

The survey has become crucial for the Wakfs Board in view of the large-scale encroachment of its properties across the State. As per the statistics available with the Board, it has 33,420 properties in Karnataka.

Officials say that of the 1.14 lakh hectares of land owned by the Board, as much as 5,077 hectares have been encroached upon. A good portion of the Wakf land has been encroached upon by various government departments and local bodies such as the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike and taluk panchayats.

At present, the Board is in possession of 51,742 hectares. While significant extent of land had been lost under various Land Acts, the Muzrai department is supposed to transfer several hectares of land to the Board. 

“In fact, there is no proper survey of Wakf properties across India. The Union minister concerned has been apprised of the situation,” said Wakf Board Chairperson Mohamed Yousuff. 

The ongoing survey of Wakf properties is the second such initiative since the formation of the Board. As per the Wakf (Amendment) Act, 2013, the survey has to be conducted every decade (earlier it was once in 20 years). The survey once taken up, has to be completed within a year.

The officials of the Board attribute the inordinate delay in completion of the survey to inadequate number of surveyors deputed for the task by the government. 

With October 2014 set as deadline for completion of the survey, the Board is now exploring the possibility of roping in professional survey companies to complete the job on time. 

The survey should not take more than two years for completion, according to Wakf representatives.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Board Mir Anees Ahmed said they had proposed to take the assistance of professionals since the deadline was fast approaching.

 “However, this has to be presented before the principal secretary to department of Minority Welfare. We are likely to do the same by the end of this month.” 

The CEO has also written to the principal secretary to the Minority Welfare department (in May 2014) stating that the government has allotted 15 acres of Wakf land in Bellalli village (near Yelahanka) to Association of Class IV Employees of Vidhana Soudha. 

A case has been pending in this regard before the Supreme Court.

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