Friday, 11 August 2006

AP Wakf Board politics: Files pending for 26 years cleared

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Aug 11: The State Wakf Board finally clears hundreds of important files after sitting on them for full 26 years.
The Board kept pending thousands of files since 1979 locking up the fate of its prime lands under encroachments. A few crore of Rupees was also held up in the process. The Wakf Board also failed to account for the money spent on its monthly meetings for the past one decade.
"We have taken up the file clearance work after noticing that many important files have been pending for more than two decades. So far we have closed a few hundred files. Many files are still pending and we will close them soon," special officer SA Huda told this correspondent.
The State Wakf Board is the richest Muslim endowment body in the country with properties running into at least Rs 35,000 crore. However, most of the landed properties of the Board are either under encroachment or locked up in legal battles.
Thanks to non-clearance of files the board suffered financial losses. Now that the file clearance process has begun, Board officials hope to recover the pending money from various sources. "Once all the files are cleared, we will know how much money is owed to the Board and which of its properties are under encroachment. This will streamline the entire process in the board," points out Wakf Board chief executive officer SM Ahmad Ali Khan.
The Board recently recovered Rs 6.8 crore from Visakhapatnam district collector pending for almost five years. It has initiated the process to recover Rs 80 lakh interest accrued on the principal amount. The money pertained to the sale of Wakf lands in Visakhapatnam and the Board could not pursue the matter with the district collector as it had been kept pending all these years.

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