While the shopkeepers who run their shops on Wakf property protested against the Board for hiking their rent, the Wakf authorities said that they won’t budge from their decision. Vice Chairman of the Board Peer Mohammad Hussian told KNS that those people who run their business on Wakf properties like shops and buildings are paying peanuts as rent to the board. “It is a grave injustice with the property by the shopkeepers who are paying peanuts as rent. In markets like Amira Kadal and Hazratbal, shopkeepers pay tens of thousands as rent to their owners, but the shopkeepers on Wakf property pay rupees 100 or 150 as rent for a month,” Hussain told KNS. “What kind of justice is it with the property which belongs to the public,” he said. Dozens of shopkeepers from Hazratbal protested here against the hike. Hussain said that the hike in rent was considered after an assessment by a reputed firm of India. “Now we have fixed the hike as per today’s market rate. We will not change our decision as it is going t benefit public as we can generate huge revenue from our property,” he said. He explained that the money that we can earn from the Wakf properties can be utilized for creating infrastructure. “We can build universities, colleges, schools and other useful infrastructure from the money that we will earn as rent like other boards are doing,’’ he said, adding that why can’t Wakf create properties that can benefit public. He expressed surprise that the people to whom the property is rented have not paid their rents to the board from the last many years. “The shopkeepers form Hazratbal created hooliganism in Wakf office by beating some employees. But, the board wont succumb to their hooliganism,” he said.
2015 Kashmir Despatch