About 36,000 Waqf properties in Telangana will be geo-tagged in the next six months, a project that will be taken up by the Indian Institute of Technology (Hyderabad) and the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU). The expected geo-tagging will be completed by September end of this year.
The Central Waqf Council, Ministry of Minority Affairs, as part of its ‘Quami Waqf Boards Taraqqiati Scheme’ planned to undertake Geo-Tagging of the Waqf properties across India. The deadline for the project was revised from March 2022 to November 2023. The project was started in the year 2017 and for various reasons, its implementation got delayed. “All the Waqf estates will be covered. There are around 36,000 in Telangana and GIS/GPS mapping will be done,”.
A major part of the project will be taken up by the IIT Hyderabad while JNTU will take care of the remaining, or about 10 percent of the task. “The TS Waqf Board staff will assist in identifying the properties for speedy accomplishment.
Help from other local civic bodies and departments like the police, revenue, etc will also be sought for the massive project, which was handed over to IIT Roorkee earlier. It was however delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Eventually, IIT Hyderabad was selected on a representation made by the Waqf Board officials.
Waqf Board officials from Telangana said they are confident that the task once completed will help in preventing land grabbing and encroachments.
“Using the coordinates any official can visit the property and conduct a surprise inspection. This way we will be able to keep the local Waqf inspectors and others accountable. It will also instill fear in the tenants and land grabbers,” said the official.
The scheme was planned based on the recommendations made by the parliamentary standing committee in the past. The government wanted to ensure proper utilization and monitoring to prevent encroachers from occupying it.
With the geo-tagging, the board may be able to take care of Waqf properties easily, as over 70% of places in Telangana have been encroached upon.