Muslims in some localities of Allahabad city in Uttar Pradesh have demolished parts of mosques to assist a government project for widening roads ahead of next year’s Ardh Kumbh Mela, news reports said. The caretaker of one of the mosques said it is their “tiny contribution to the world’s largest religious event”, Patrika reported.

Many buildings, including parts of the mosques, were coming in the way of the project, unidentified officials of the Allahabad Development Authority told Hindustan Times. Muslim residents volunteered to demolish parts of the structures, the officials claimed.

“The sections which were built on government lands have been demolished,” a worker at one of the mosques told ANI. “We have done this of our own will.”

“The decision was taken in view of road widening project to facilitate devotees who will arrive here to take holy dip in the Sangam [the holy confluence of the Ganga and the Yamuna with a mythical river in Allahabad] during Kumbh,” Irshad Hussain, the caretaker of one of the mosques in Rajruppur area, told the Hindustan Times. “Muslims themselves came forward and took the initiative instead of staging a protest against road widening.”

The residents did not want the Allahabad Development Authority to do it as politicians and communal elements would have unnecessarily cashed in on it, Hussain told Patrika.

A part of a 106-year-old mosque on Sardar Patel Marg was also taken down by its caretaker and residents last month.

The project is expected to be completed by October. The Ardha Kumbh Mela, which is held every six years, is scheduled to begin on January 14. It is considered the world’s largest religious congregation and is part of the on the UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.