Unpaid Electricity Bill of Rs 4-cr for Delhi Juma Masjid

published on October 8, 2012

Delhi’s Juma Masjid has an unpaid power bill of Rs 4.16 crore, which has been accumulated over a period of time. This has led to frequent power snaps in the area by the power distribution company (discom) BSES causing unending woes for those staying in the Masjid’s vicinity. The power cuts last for as long as 8 hours.

Adding to power cuts are shortages in water supply. However, Power Secretary Shakti Sinha has washed his hands off the matter. “It is between the power supplier (BSES) and the consumer; we have no legal role to play in this,” he said.

The matter has not reached any settlement, with the Imam of Juma Masjid, Maulana Syed Ahmed Bukhari and Delhi Waqf Board at daggers drawn over the matter. “The Waqf Board says they have no legal control over the place,” said a senior government official.

Chairman of Delhi Waqf Board Mateen Ahmed even said that the Juma Masjid has been “run by the Shahi Imam”, after its separation from the Waqf Board in 1977 and therefore had no obligation to pay the electricity bill. “We don’t even know where is the electricity meter for Jama Masjid. Waqf Board has no control over Jama Masjid and it has never paid the electricity bill. We do not have any money either. Some other masjids, which are under the Waqf Board, have bills of around Rs 2 crore. We don’t have the money to pay even those bills,” said Ahmed.

But Imam Bhukari has a different story to tell. “But the Jama Masjid property remains in the name of Waqf Board. They pay the electricity bill, which has not been paid for several years now. They get rent from the property. We want the Waqf Board to change the property in our name, then we will pay the water and electricity bills,” he said.

The power outages does not affect him either. “We have got generators. The trouble is for the namaazis who come for prayers. The Waqf Board should give us an account of the money they collect and how they use it,” he adds.

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