Telangana will award honorariums to 6,000 imams.
Hyderabad: The Telangana State Wakf Board will soon award an Rs. 5,000 honorarium to another 6,000 Imams and Muezzins throughout the state.
In the previous couple of years, applications from Imams (who lead the prayers) and Muezzins (who call for prayer) from around the state were received over a while. Several religious scholars and public officials are urging the TS Wakf Board to approve the honorarium and clear the outstanding applications.
The Chairman of the TS Wakf Board, Mohd Saleem, stated that the Board will notify the State government and evaluate the outstanding applications.
"We already are paying Rs 5,000 honorarium a month to 10,000 Imams and Muezzin from across the Telangana. Over a period of time, another 6,000 fresh applications were submitted and we will consider them," said Mohd Saleem. He said that a few years ago, the TS Wakf Board had cleared a few thousand applications, taking the number of beneficiaries to 10,000. "The amount was hiked from Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000 a month. Based on the budget allocated for the scheme, we are clearing the applications," Mohd Saleem said.
To avoid any fraudulent activities, the TS Wakf Board puts the funds directly into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries. Nonetheless, there have been allegations that the board occasionally delays the payment of the monthly honorarium.
"Sometimes, there is a delay of a few months due to administrative problems. But all the 10,000 beneficiaries are receiving the amount from the board. In no other state in the country, such a big amount is paid to the Imam and Muezzin," added Mohd Saleem.
'Mosques and cemeteries should not be disturbed.'
On Thursday, representatives from the Telangana Wakf Board met with officials from the Ranga Reddy district administration.
Officials from the Wakf Board addressed road expansion projects on the National Highway 65 at the Shamshabad segment during the meeting. The officers notified the district revenue authorities and other department officials that mosques and graveyards were located along the stretch and should not be disturbed.
According to Mohd Saleem, Chairman of the Telangana State Wakf Board, there are numerous Wakf assets along the road, and officials should exercise caution while dealing with mosques and cemeteries.
"A Wakf property is always a Wakf property and can not be altered or its status changed in the records," he said.