Waqf properties in Bengaluru to be developed for benefit of minority community

BENGALURU: The state government has decided to develop waqf properties that are not under dispute for commercial purposes. Rising real estate prices have prompted the state government to consider public-private partnerships or wholly-owned development of land it holds.

Among the properties being considered for development are Gulisthan Shaadi Mahal in Shivajinagar, a wakf property on Siddaiah Road in Shantinagar, and a plot of land in Mavanahalli in the heart of Bengaluru.

Secretary for Haj, waqf and minority affairs Mohammad Mohsin said the government is keen to develop and lease waqf properties to generate revenue for the welfare of the minority community. According to a Supreme Court order, waqf properties cannot be sold but can be leased.

The state government held preliminary talks regarding the development with the joint secretary of the ministry of minority affairs. During the discussion, it was decided that waqf properties would be developed by National Waqf Development Corporation (Nawadco) in the state.

“Last week, we had a preliminary round of talks on developing the properties in the state and decided that Nawadco would take the lead in the matter,” said Mohsin.

Government officials said the first round of development of waqf properties would take place in Bengaluru as real estate prices are high here.

The properties will be developed into upmarket commercial spaces for offices in the IT-BT sector, restaurants and coffee shops. “But we will have stringent conditions on the sale of pork, liquor and other things that are forbidden by the Islamic faith,” said Mohsin.

“If the more important properties are developed in the state, we may not require budgetary allocations from the government. The income from the property will meet our requirements,” said Mohsin.

It is estimated that the department can earn Rs 100 crore a year in rent from waqf properties in Karnataka. As part of the rules and regulations, at least 7% of the lease on each property is scheduled to come to the department.

The department said demands to develop waqf properties are coming from Kolar and Ramanagara as well. While the department is toying with the idea of starting residential projects, it is not considered viable at present.

Credits ET Realty

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