PAMPORE: A Masjid has been raised in a Pampore locality on a piece of land which Revenue officials say was demarcated for a government guest house in 2012.
The residents of Tarmac Road, Litterbal in Pampore have squatted upon a portion of the demarcated land and constructed a Masjid, meant for around thirty households in the vicinity.
According to sources in the Municipal Committee Pampore and the Revenue department some 5 Kanals of state land were identified and then fenced with the proposal of constructing the government guest house.
The land is located right behind the HP Gas Plant on the Tarmac Road in Litterbal area.
“Even the name for the guest house was finalized. It was proposed that the guest house will be called Wahab Sahab Guest house, in memory of a local saint,” sources told Kashmir Reader.
Following the demarcation and fencing of the land however no further work was done on it.
Meanwhile, in the subsequent years the vacant grazing land around the demarcated land started to get populated and a colony came up virtually overnight.
“The whole area is grazing land and it’s a mystery how it became residential,” a Revenue official lamented, “And now they have started to grab land in the name of faith. How ironic is that?”
The Masid is a tin structure built over a concrete base.
The level of the Masjid has been raised to give an impression that it was not a part of the demarcated land.
Some residents in the area lament that prayers cannot be held in this mosque.
“Land acquired without paying compensation cannot be used for construction of a Masjid. I don’t think we can pray in such a mosque,” a concerned resident said.
Another portion of the land has been squatted upon by nomads from outside the state.
The civil authorities meanwhile have contradictory stands over the issue.
Municipal authorities maintain that the land, where the mosque has been constructed, was not a part of the land meant for the Guest house.
“The land for the Guest House is intact. Masjid has been constructed over a different land,” Executive Officer (EO) of the Pampore Municipal Committee told Kashmir Reader.
Revenue officials however rue lack of funding for the Guest House Project.
“As and when we get the funding for the project, we know how to get the land evacuated,” Tehsildar Pampore, Ali Muhammad, said while talking to Kashmir Reader