VEHARI-Local people held a protest demonstration as the building of Masjid Bagh Wali has become decrepit and dilapidated due to the negligence of the district administration thereby posing a threat to lives of thousands of people.

The mosque is on the top floor of the building situated in the middle of the Rail Bazaar and Club Road Vehari while at the ground floor is a shopping market. The building was made in 1962. Being 53 years old, it has become weary and is near to fall. Thousands of people offer prayers on the top floor and hundreds others remain busy on the ground floor in business activities.

The building has developed cracks on the top floor and the shopping market as its roof has expired. It can cause a big mishap risking hundreds of people’s lives.

Syed Rafaqat Ali Advocate told The Nation that the TMA and the Building Department have issued three notices to the mosque administration but the traders are not ready to vacate the shops as they have to pay a little rent on the basis of an agreement they signed with the mosque administration.

Citizens including Zakria, Abdul Razzaq, Khalid, Shahid, Qasim, Abdul Raheem and others protested against Vehari administration and demanded that the Punjab chief minister should take action on the sensitive issue.

They demanded reconstruction of the mosque to save the people from a mishap. They said the lives of the people who visit the 137-shop market and the mosque are at risk. Ajman Khuddamul Islam former president Hafiz Haroon Rasheed said that there is no controversy between traders and mosque administration. If the mosque is rebuilt, its administration shall re-let the shops to the same traders, he said.

Anjman Khuddamul Islam President Imtiaz Alam said a 17-member committee including MNA Tahir Iqbal, MPA Mian Saqib Khurshid, traders, lawyers and journalists will solve the issue.

TMO M Azhar said that Building and Works Department has declared the old building of Masjid Bagh Wali as dangerous and TMA has released notices to the traders and mosque administration for vacation of the building. He said hundreds lives are unsafe due to dangerous building. When contacted, DCO Ali Akber said that the administration will take a decision on the issue soon.