Gurez: The residents of Gurez are building a Jamia Masjid in the area at an estimated cost of Rs 3 crore. The work on the Masjid coming up in Dawar village, which also houses administrative offices for Gurez, began in May and the ground floor structure has been raised so far. The chairperson of Auqaf Committee central Jamia Masjid Dawar, Ghulam Ahmad Mir, told Kashmir Reader that the Masjid will be biggest in whole of Gurez which houses around 36000 souls. “It will be a three-floor Jamia Masjid, the biggest in whole region,” Mir said.
Dawar is also the biggest village in Gurez.
Mir said that around 15 to 20 labourers worked continuously on the project, for which, “the money was locally collected besides some donations from Kashmir valley”. Mir is in his 60s and runs a seminary in Dawar. The chief mason working on the project comes from Bandipora and he said that Masjid is being constructed with an dimension of 60 ft x80 ft. “We have completed the slabs (ceiling) on ground floor and now we will start work on first floor columns,” he informed. “We contemplate to complete the second slab by November.”
So far, he said, almost Rs 60 lakh have been spent on the construction, – reinforced concrete structure. “We dug almost six feet into the ground to make foundation strong. The Jamia Masjid will have a plinth of 4.5 feet above ground,” he said.
The Auqaf committee chairperson said that a total of 36 marlas of land belong to the Masjid. “We bought 12 marlas when we started work on it,” he said. The project, Mir said, costs around Rs 3 crore, citing high cost of construction material in the region.
An official from civil works department posted in Gurez explained the high cost of construction. “A truck of bricks costs Rs 36000 to Rs 40000 when it reaches Gurez from Budgam,” He said adding that cost of most construction material in Gurez was similarly high.
Local residents who had joined in the construction work especially during laying of RCC slab, said they were thankful to Almighty since the work on the project started.
“Since the day the work started, we have offered congregational Friday prayers in open at local Eidgah and, Alham du lillah, there has been no problem in view of bad weather or anything else,” they said.
“The weather remained sunny on all Fridays, besides it was good weather on two Eids,” they added.
Gurez, 135 km from Srinagar, remains cut-off from rest of Kashmir Valley for over six-months a year due to heavy snowfall.
The majority of people in Gurez speak Shina, their native language, and migrate to Bandipora during tough winters.