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By A Staff Writer

Bangalore: The Karnataka Government has begun paying salaries to 762 imams and 727 muezzins from August. The salaries would be disbursed by the Karnataka Board of Awkafs. The State budget for 2014-15 had allocated Rs. 47.80 crore for the purpose. Of the allocated amount Rs. 12 crore has been transferred to the Waqf Board. The Chief Executive Officer of the Board has been directed to transfer salaries to the imams and muezzins online.
Each imam would be paid Rs. 3,100 and muezzins would receive Rs. 2,500 a month. The first payment would comprise salaries for the months of April, May, and June which is being paid in July. Currently, only those imams and muezzins have been selected who conduct the prayers in mosque and waqf institutions whose annual income is less than Rs. one lakh. However, only a few such mosques have been selected for the purpose. According to an estimate, Karnataka has between 5,000 to 7,000 such mosques.
Among the mosques selected, Bidar tops the list with 233 while Gulbarga coming next with 157 and South Canara 53 mosques. Imams and muezzins in only 11 mosques in Bangalore Urban district would receive their monthly pay from the Waqf Board.
2.5 acre land for Graveyard: The Karnataka Chief Minister Mr. Siddaramiah presented the land document for a 2.5 acre plot for a graveyard Near Buttdaspur for a graveyard in South Bangalore. The Chief Minister had assured the Eid congregationists at Bannerghatta Road Eidgah that he would make provision for the land for graveyard during the Eidul fitr 2013. Area corporator Rizwan Nawab and MLA and Minister Ramalinga Reddy played key role in allotment of the land. The local graveyards in the area had filled up during the recent years.