Poor sanitation at Charar-i-Sharief shrine: Locals blame Govt, Wakf

The residents of Charar i Sharief in central Kashmir’s Budgam district are miffed at the administration for poor condition of bathrooms and lavatory system that lies in proximity to the main shrine.

The system lies in the backdrop of the main shrine of Sheikh-ul-Aalam (RA), popularly known as Alamdar-i-Kashmir.

According to locals, the present condition of the bathrooms and lavatory system creates horrible stink where every passerby has to cover their nose with handkerchiefs. Overall, the lavatories are in complete shambles due to poor maintenance.

The bathrooms and lavatory facility behind the main shrine of the town has been created by Wakf board authorities way back in 2002. The lavatory has space for both the genders, but in complete mess.

According to head priest of the shrine, Amir ud din, he has often expressed his serious concern on the matter. “Every Friday, I highlight this issue and appeal to the concerned authorities to redress this long pending grievance, but no action is being taken,” he said.

He added, “Recently, JK Bank chairman offered Friday prayers in the grand mosque here, he expressed his serious concern regarding poor lavatories, after which he assured for its funding but on the condition of allotting a suitable place. Irony is that government has already occupied so much of land around the main shrine, they can make better lavatories wherever they want. It only remains confined to documents.”

According to locals, In 1988, Jagmohan, the then Governor of the state, had proposed a master plan to make Charar I Sharief and Jammu’s Katra Vehsnodevi as model towns. After 30 years, the residents of Charar town are still waiting for the master plan project.

Javaid Ahmad Dar, a local teacher, while expressing his concern on poor bathrooms and lavatory system said, “Authorities are completely neglecting this mega shrine of Kashmir, Wakf board authorities generate huge income from the shrine, then where that huge sum is being spent?” he questions.

He considers present location of lavatories as sheer disrespect to Sangram Dar’s mausoleum, which is in proximity to the shrine.

“Government should seriously look into the matter and redress this issue.”

Syed Feroz, a devotee, said, “I have performed ablution here, and the condition of bathrooms and lavatory system is pathetic, I feel quite disheartened to witness this drastic situation. Why administration is not paying heed towards this sacred place.” 

Charar I Sharief Wakf board president said, “It’s true that there is poor sanitation here, we are also helpless due to meagre resources. Government has to come forward for its maintenance.”

According to locals, the poor sanitation creates horrible stink in summers and so it needs to be maintained properly.

When contacted, the local MLA, G.N. Lone Hanjura, assured that Housing department will soon construct a toilet block. “I have already directed concerned DC for the same, we had delays in its construction because local shopkeepers are becoming a hurdle due to their personal interests.”

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