OKARA-The district administration has constituted a committee to find a solution to the dispute between the Auqaf Department and the shopkeepers regarding the repair or reconstruction of Jamia Masjid Usmania commonly known as Gole Chowk Masjid.

In 2014, the Buildings Department declared the mosque building as dangerous but no repair work was carried out though the supervisory office of Auqaf Dept is also situated at the first storey of the mosque building.

However, the Auqaf Dept and the district administration girded up their loins and took measures to get vacated the shops from the possession of traders for its renovation or reconstruction. District Manager Auqaf (DMA) Irfan Mehmood said that the government had sanctioned an amount of Rs100 million for the repair and reconstruction of the mosque and the surrounding market.

He said that the government would complete the work in three phases. The first phase includes the south side of the mosque including 51 shops and upper chambers; Rs22 million rupees grant had been received from the government. As many as 37 shops out of 51 have been put in priority and the work would complete before June, 2017, he said.

The contractor had provided guarantee to the shopkeepers and the other traders of the bazaar to work day and night and complete the work within six months.

The administration and the local Markazi Anjuman Tajaran held many meetings during the previous years to solve the problem but nothing could be agreed. Anjuman president Munir Ahmad said that the shopkeeper did not object on repair work rather they opposed total or partial demolition of the building.

District Coordination Officer Sucrat Aman Rana constituted an 8-member committee consisting of assistant commissioner, TMO, XEN, district officers of Building Department, Anjumn Tajran President Saleem Sadiq, Fayyaz Zafar and prayer leader Qari Saeed Usmani for early solution to the problem.