The construction of the mosque in Ayodhya in place of the demolished Babri Masjid is expected to completed by December 2023, according to the trust responsible for it.
Babri Masjid, believed to have been built in Ayodhya on the site of Ram Janmabhoomi, was demolished in 1992. In the long-running legal dispute over the ownership of the disputed site, the Supreme Court in 2019 ordered the construction of a Ram temple on the 2.77-acre plot where the Babri Masjid once stood and directed that five acres be allotted for building a mosque elsewhere in Ayodhya.
"We hope to get approval to the map of the proposed mosque, hospital, community kitchen, library and research centre from the Ayodhya Development Authority by the end of this month. Soon after we will start the construction of the mosque," said Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation Trust Secretary Athar Hussain to PTI.
Hussain said the construction of the Dhannipur Ayodhya Mosque is likely to be completed by the end of December 2023, while the remaining structures on the five-acre Maulvi Ahmadullah Shah Complex will be come up subsequently.
The timing is of significance as general elections are to be 2024 in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is believed to seeking a third term. Ram Mandir has been a major electoral promise of the BJP. The 'bhoomi pujan' for the temple was performed by Modi in August 2020 and, according to the temple trust, it is likely to be opened to devotees in January 2024.
The Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation Trust, formed by the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board for the construction of the mosque, has also decided to build a hospital, community kitchen, library and a research institute.
He said, "The trust will start the construction of all proposed structures simultaneously and the mosque is likely to be completed first because of its small size. Although no deadline has been fixed, it will hopefully be constructed within a year's time."
He said efforts are being made to raise funds for the construction of the mosque and other structures in the complex.
Hussain said the hospital will begin with 100 beds and later upgraded to a 200-bed facility. The community kitchen will initially have the capacity to serve 1,000 people daily and subsequently expanded to cater to 2,000 people. He said the trust decided to build an Indo-Islamic Research Centre and a library so that the people of the area can benefit from them.
Hussain said that about a month ago, during perusal of the application for obtaining NOC from the fire department for the mosque and other facilities, the department had objected to the narrow approach road.
The district administration was immediately informed about this.
Taking prompt action, the administration has completed the process of measurement of additional land to be given to widen the approach road, said Hussain.
He said the land given by the government to the Waqf Board is recorded in the revenue records as agricultural land, so no construction can be done on it without changing its use.
"The trust has already applied for change in its land use and the administration has assured it of completing the entire process and approve the map within 15 days," said Hussain.
(With PTI inputs)