HYDERABAD: Many mosque committees in the city are finding it hard to afford the extensive sanitisation efforts they are required to take for making their premises safe for visitors. Since religious institutions were reopened, their managing committees have had to take extra precautions to ensure that no one contracts COVID-19 from the premises.
Many of these mosques have been using sodium hypochlorite or bleach for sanitizing the premises with chemicals before prayers. During lockdown when the institutions were closed, they could do with sanitizing the premises twice or thrice a month. However, with regular influx of devotees, they have to do it everyday. This is proving to be quite expensive.
For instance, the management of Jama Masjid in Charminar is expecting that they have to shell out Rs 15,000 for sodium hypochlorite at the end of the day. "With people coming in for five prayers, we have to sanitise the premises daily. With each packet of sodium hypochlorite costing Rs 500, we will have to shell around Rs 15,000 at the end of the month," they said.
Compared to the income that a mosque makes, this sum is quite high. In Telangana, muezzins and imams are bound to receive an honorarium monthly, but that has stopped for the last three months. Apart from that, they also collect money from attached properties and through 'chanda' from devotees who regularly visit the institutions. While mosques like Jama Masjid, which are rich in history, may have their sources of income sorted out, majority of mosques in Hyderabad are not self sufficient.