The Indo-Islamic Culture Foundation (IICF), which is responsible for overseeing the construction of the mosque in Ayodhya as appointed by the Sunni Central Waqf Board, is considering requesting the Uttar Pradesh Government for a complete waiver of the development charges that they are required to pay to the Ayodhya Development Authority (ADA). This request aims to secure approval for the mosque’s map without incurring significant financial burdens.
To obtain final approval for the map, the IICF is obligated to submit labor cess and development tax amounting to approximately ₹10-12 crore to the ADA. However, the foundation has thus far received a modest sum of around ₹50 lakh through crowdfunding as the total funding for the mosque project. Given the significant disparity between the required charges and the funds available, the IICF is exploring avenues to alleviate the financial strain.
The mosque project in Ayodhya has been a focal point of both historical and religious significance. It stems from a long-standing dispute over the site where the Babri Masjid, a 16th-century mosque, was demolished in 1992. The Supreme Court of India’s landmark judgment in 2019 settled the dispute by granting the site to Hindus for the construction of a temple, while also directing the government to allocate a separate parcel of land for the construction of a mosque.
In line with the court’s ruling, the IICF was established as the managing committee for the mosque construction. Since its inception, the foundation has been actively engaged in fundraising efforts to finance the project. They have reached out to the public through various channels, including crowdfunding platforms, to gather support for the mosque’s construction.
However, despite their fundraising efforts, the current funds at the disposal of the IICF are far from sufficient to cover the substantial development charges demanded by the ADA. Recognizing this financial challenge, the foundation is now contemplating seeking a full waiver of these charges from the Uttar Pradesh Government. Their argument for the waiver likely rests on the fact that the IICF is a non-profit organization and the mosque project holds significant cultural and religious importance.
Negotiating a waiver would not only ease the financial burden on the IICF but also facilitate the timely progression of the mosque construction. With the waiver in place, the foundation can redirect the funds raised through crowdfunding towards other essential aspects of the project, such as architectural design, construction materials, and infrastructure development.
The decision to request a waiver ultimately lies with the Uttar Pradesh Government. They will need to carefully evaluate the merits of the IICF’s argument and balance the financial considerations with the cultural and religious significance of the project. Given the sensitivities surrounding the Ayodhya dispute and the desire to foster communal harmony, the government may be inclined to support the IICF’s request.
As the IICF prepares to approach the Uttar Pradesh Government for the waiver, they remain optimistic that their plea will be met with understanding and empathy. They hope that the government will recognize the importance of the mosque construction in promoting religious inclusivity and cultural harmony. Ultimately, securing a waiver for the development charges would significantly aid the IICF in fulfilling its mandate and successfully completing the construction of the mosque in Ayodhya.