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UP Waqf Board defers construction of hospital on the alternate mosque site given as per Ayodhya verdict, says it has no fund

Secretary IICF, Athar Hussain stated that because there are already many mosques in the area, the trust wanted to first build a charitable hospital and community kitchen. However, the lack of funds has forced the trust to focus on the construction of a mosque.

On the 16th of July, the Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation (IICF) announced that it has deferred the construction of a hospital at the alternate site in Ayodhya allotted in place of the Ram Janambhumi site. The decision has been due to a lack of funds. The trust is responsible for overseeing the construction of a mosque the alternate site given as per the Supreme Court’s 2019 verdict in the Ram Janmabhoomi case, and it had decided to other facilities including a hospital at the site.

IICF secretary and spokesperson of the trust, Athar Hussain stated that because there are already many mosques in the area, the trust wanted to first build a charitable hospital and community kitchen. However, the lack of funds has forced the trust to focus on the construction of a mosque. 

Hussain said, “We have put on hold the project for the hospital because of lack of funds. The hospital project was to cost around Rs 300 crore and we have put that on hold for now. We will go ahead with the construction of the mosque as soon as it can be done so that at least some work can start at the site. But as far as the hospital is concerned, we have put it on hold because we couldn’t garner funds.”

According to him, the trust will submit a revised plan without the hospital in it. It will only include the mosque in the drawings so that the development fee is reduced. Earlier, the development fee for the whole project, including the hospital, was running into crores. So, the trust has decided to put on hold the hospital project for now. However, they still hope that they can collect more funds in the future and then build a hospital over there.

Earlier, in May 2021, the IICF submitted the drawings of the maps with the proposed mosque and other projects in it to the Ayodhya Development Authority. 

As planned earlier, the trust was supposed to build community facilities like a hospital, library, community kitchen, and an Indo-Islamic cultural research centre along with a mosque at the 5-acre plot. The trust had released renderings of the proposed construction, which showed futuristic buildings next to a smaller traditional mosque.

Rendering released earlier for the proposed construction

The alternate site was given to the UP Sunni Central Waqf Board as per the SC verdict. It is in Dhannipur village under the Sohawal tehsil, which is around 25 km away from the Ram Mandir site.

In July 2020, the Waqf Board formed the IICF trust to oversee the construction of the mosque and other structures.

In its historic judgement on the 9th of November, 2019, the Supreme Court awarded the Ram Janmabhoomi to the Hindu side for the proposed Ram Mandir. Using its special powers, the apex court granted five acres of land on an alternate site for the Muslim side for the construction of a mosque.

While the construction of Ram Mandir is in its final stage, the construction of the mosque in Dhannipur is yet to start. The grand Ram Mandir is scheduled to be opened in January 2024.

The chief trustee of the foundation and also the chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board, Zufar Farooqui told The Indian Express about this new development.  

He said, “We will focus on the mosque project for now, while putting on hold the construction of the hospital. We will soon hold a meeting of the IICF to discuss the strategy for the collection of funds and donations.” 

He argued that it is unfair to compare the two projects as the preparations for Ram Mandir had been going on for a long time and there was no rush for the mosques. 

He added, “It is unfair to compare the project of the mosque with the temple. Preparations for the temple have been going on since 1983-84. We got to know about the construction of the mosque only in 2019. The project will take a lot of time, and we can’t give a timeline for it. It may take 10-20 years. We are in no rush because there is no pressure from the community too for the construction. We are trying our best.” 

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