A mosque at Guriya Pada on Link Road, Malad, that stands in the way of a proposed mall under a redevelopment project, has become a local election issue, with Muslim residents of Malad and Kandivali saying they are upset with Mumbai North MP Sanjay Nirupam and local MLA Aslam Shaikh, both from the Congress, for not helping them in efforts to save the mosque from being shifted.
The chairman and members of the Raunak-e-Islam mosque’s trust claim they have been fighting to ensure the mosque remains at its place, where Transcon Properties Pvt Ltd is allegedly planning to build a mall as part of the Sairaj Guriya Pada housing society redevelopment project under the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) scheme.
Sabir Ali, chairman and president of the Raunaq-E-Islam Talimul Quran Trust, said for the past five years, the trustees and devotees of the mosque have been asking the builder not to move the mosque from its place and hand the land over to the trust.
“The collector survey was done on April 13,14 and 15 last year, in which the mosque was missing. The builders had shown two vacant rooms instead of a mosque in an annexure of their plan to make four towers of 60 floors each and a mall, which was approved in August 2013.
However when we were informed about the plan we filed a Right to Information application and got the plans and map submitted by the builder in November 2013,” alleged Sabir.
The mosque which covers 2,300 sq ft according to Sabir, was built in 1986 and registered that year. The entire redevelopment project covers an area of 17,000 sq metres of land, which includes slums.
The members of the mosque’s trust have filed complaints before the SRA, BMC and other authorities. According to them, the builder intends to demolish the mosque as it falls in the centre of the mall project.
“We had gone to MP Sanjay Nirupam, but he has also not been able to solve this problem,” said Sabir.
“The builder has totally surpassed the mosque and shown a DP (development plan) road through the masjid connecting to the Link Road. He wanted to build another mosque at the rear of the mall, but according to Islamic principles, a mosque cannot be shifted. In spite the local MLA being a Muslim, the Congress party has not helped so far,” alleged Sabir.
Alak Jalan, representing Transcon Properties, said the redevelopment plan had not been approved yet. “We had held a meeting with all the Imams and committee members along with former MP Sanjay Nirupam and MLA Aslam Shaikh and assured them that the mosque will not move. Sabir Ali, however, has personal gains from the plot and wants us to give the land of the mosque in his name, which is not possible,” claimed Jalan. “The land survey has been done recently on April 7, which shows the mosque at its current location,” added Jalan.