Millennium Post

Waqf boards not sure of properties they own

Waqf boards not sure of properties they own
The Ministry of Minority Affairs started an ambitious project in 2008 to figure out how many properties the waqf boards in different states had and how they measured. Four years after the launch, the scheme is moving at a slow pace, with there being a lot of confusion about the actual status of the project.

The ministry’s website is also not sure where the data-collection exercise stands. The entries against most state waqf boards say that the data is being entered into a database. However, West Bengal seems to be an exception, which claims that it has completed the Centralised Computing Facility.

The state waqf board members seem clueless about the important exercise that can bring transparency in the functioning of the boards. N D Pathan, the chief executive officer of the Maharashtra State Waqf Board told Millennium Post, 'There are approximately 10,000 waqf properties in the state, and about 5,400 have been registered. This process of digitisation will take some time, as data collection is still on. Currently the registration process is on.'

Four years after the project started, the board is yet to start processing the data.

The Delhi Waqf Board seems to be in a better state. Its member says, 'The project is almost complete. Records needs to be updated on a software named Waqf Management System of India, which has been prepared by the National Informatics Centre. We have to update the manually collected data and upload it to the servers through this software. We just have to scan this data and do the data entry job. Our web site is already live and the other one regarding the data will be made live soon.'
Mohammed Shoaib Ahmed from the Karnataka Waqf Board, who oversees this project, said, 'The data is being collected from the board itself and we are updating the information onto our website. Actually it is a three-year contract, and right now about half of the work has been completed. There are about 33,000 waqf properties in Karnataka and about 16,000 to 17,000 of them have been identified and data regarding them has been updated on the website.'

The Joint Parliamentary Committee on issue had estimated a cost of Rs 25 crore for this project, after which the prime minister had approved issued Rs 10 crore immediately. 'For the current year, the ministry has sanctioned an amount of Rs 5 crore for this project,' said an official from the Salman Khurshid ministry.
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