Kochi: Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said on Friday in a major achievement, 100 per cent digitisation of Waqf properties' records across the country has been completed.
"Digitisation and Geo Mapping has ensured a large number of missing Waqf properties have now become a part of Waqf records," he told a Waqf conference of southern states here.
The Minister said a large number of Waqf properties had "disappeared" from the official records for decades.
But, digitisation work of Waqf properties, started by the Modi government on a war-footing in the last five years, has resulted into proper maintenance of Waqf properties, he said.
There are about six lakh registered Waqf properties across the country.
"A programme on a war footing has been launched for 100 per cent geo tagging and digitalisation of Waqf properties across the country to ensure these properties can be utilised for welfare of the society. Digitization and Geo Tagging will also help in curbing the menace of Waqf mafia," he said.
The Minister said geo tagging of about 24,000 Waqf properties has been completed.
GIS/GPS mapping of the Waqf properties has been initiated with the help of IIT Roorkee and Aligarh Muslim University, he said.
Naqvi said Central Waqf Council is providing financial help and technical assistance to state Waqf Boards for digitalisation, Geo Tagging of Waqf properties so that they can complete digitalisation work within the decided timeframe.
For the first time since Independence, the Narendra Modi-led government is providing 100 per cent funding to develop schools, colleges, ITIs, polytechnics, hospitals, multi-purpose community hall "Sadbhav Mandap", "Hunar Hub", common service centres, employment oriented skill development centres and other basic infrastructure on Waqf land under Pradhanmantri Jan Vikas Karykram (PMJVK) for weaker sections and needy especially girls in those backward areas which had been deprived of these basic facilities, he said.
Naqvi said while only 90 districts of the country had been identified for minority communities development earlier; the Modi-led government has expanded development programmes for minorities to 308 districts, 870 blocks, 331 towns and thousands of the villages of the country.
Naqvi also inaugurated Mutawali Conference which was attended by more than 200 Mutawalis from southern states.
The Minister said that Mutawalis are "custodians" of Waqf properties and its their responsibility to ensure safety and better utilisation of the properties.
Naqvi said recently at a national conference of Central Waqf Council in New Delhi, eight Mutawalis had been awarded under "Qaumi Waqf Board Taraqqiati Scheme" for better management of Waqf properties in their respective state Waqf boards.
This is for the first time that Mutawalis have been encouraged and awarded for better utilisation of Waqf properties especially for socio-economic-educational empowerment of needy.
The Minister said "Unity in Diversity" is our "Rashtradharma" and to keep it strengthened is our "Rashtriya Kartavya (national duty).
The Minister said "we all have to protect and strengthen fabric of social harmony, brotherhood, unity under any circumstances and defeat forces who want to disturb harmony and peace in the country."
The "high-way of harmony and unity" is necessary to take the vehicle of development forward, he said.
Kerala Minister for Minority Welfare, Haj & WaqfK T Jaleel, senior officials from Union Ministry of Minority Affairs, Central Waqf Council Secretary, CWC Members, senior officials of the council, Chairmen/CEOs of state waqf boards attended the conference.