Male' Mayor Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has said six mosques in Male' are being renovated for Ramadan by private parties.
The City Council has commenced a project to renovate 42 mosques in the Greater Male' Area in time for the upcoming Holy Month of Ramadan.
In an interview given to AVAS, the Mayor said the Council does not have the budget to renovate the mosques. He noted that the Islamic Ministry had contributed MVR one million for mosque repairs and renovation, and said the renovation of even one mosque would cost that much.
In this regard, the repair and renovation of Masjid al-Furqan in Male' have been contracted to a party, and the project alone costs MVR one million, the Mayor said. He added that the renovation of Hulhumale' Mosque, which has neared completion, also cost over MVR 1.5 million. While this was the cost incurred for two large mosques, he noted that the renovation cost for smaller mosques would be lesser.
'The government does not give an adequate budget for mosque renovation. So, we have decided to contract these projects and council staff to work at the mosques. The Council has hired some laborers on monthly salary. This will lower the expense borne by the Council. What remains is the purchase of material and other items. We are using the funds in our revenue account for mosque renovations. That is not the way we want to do this,' the Mayor said.
Further noting that the Council is receiving public support and assistance in renovating the mosques, the Mayor said private parties are handling the renovation of seven mosques at their own cost. He noted appreciation for the public support in carrying out the upgrades.
Although the renovation of all mosques may not reach completion before Ramadan, Muizzu said major works are expected to be completed before then.
The Mayor said the revenue generated through vehicle fees and other fees do not get deposited in the Council budget. He hoped the government would facilitate the payments and further revenue generation through the North Harbor and T-Jetty.
Adding that utility companies MWSC and STELCO owe over MVR 70 million for the council land they use, the Mayor said if the owed funds are received, the Council can do a lot to develop Male' City.