Karnataka to buy private land as ’emergency’ measure – The New Indian Express

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Express press service

BENGALURU: Amid growing concerns over the issue of lack of land for cemeteries in the state, the State Department of Revenue has issued an “emergency” instruction to all Deputy Commissioners (DCs) to that they buy land from private entities and use it as cemeteries.

The directive was issued after the department received requests from villagers across the state seeking land for burial grounds in their respective locations.

In Karnataka, there are 29,438 villages in over 6,000 Gram Panchayat boundaries. In January this year, Revenue Minister R Ashoka held a meeting with Deputy Commissioners and CEOs of Zilla Panchayat and various issues including lack of space for graveyards in many villages were discussed.

During the meeting, it was pointed out that as many as 4,370 villages (nearly 20% of Karnataka’s total) have no burial sites.

State government authorities are in the process of acquiring land for this purpose and are expected to finalize it by the end of March. Most of the affected villages are in the northern Karnataka and Malnad regions.

However, it was not possible to acquire land for all the villages. Revenue department officials said more than 1,000 villages had no cemeteries.

To obtain land, Undersecretary of Department of Revenue (Land Approval-I) wrote a letter to all DCs as instructed by Principal Secretary (Department of Revenue) asking them to acquire land from private parties in villages that do not have government land.

A senior department official told TNIE that for public works, DCs are allowed to purchase land by paying three times the indicative value.

“We told officials to identify and buy land based on population. We have received letters from the villages concerned,” the official said.

For 1.3 cr of people in the city, only 132 burial places

“In some places that don’t have land, people take the dead to nearby villages to bury or cremate them. We are trying to make the facilities available,’ the manager said.

In Bangalore too, there is a shortage of burial sites. With a population of 1.3 crore people, there are 132 cemeteries in the city which are full.

No new cemeteries have appeared in the past two decades despite the increase in population.

Spread over 87 acres, Kalpalli Cemetery at Kathalipalya in Sarvagnanagar is said to be the largest Hindu cemetery in the state.

What are other countries doing?

  • Israel has multi-storey underground burial tunnels.

  • In Germany, the same graves are reused every few years.

  • In Hong Kong, thousands of families are storing ashes in bags at funeral homes.

  • Japan has a high-tech cemetery, where the ashes of the deceased are stored.

BENGALURU: Amid growing concerns over the issue of lack of land for cemeteries in the state, the State Department of Revenue has issued an “emergency” instruction to all Deputy Commissioners (DCs) to that they buy land from private entities and use it as cemeteries. The directive was issued after the department received requests from villagers across the state seeking land for burial grounds in their respective locations. In Karnataka, there are 29,438 villages in over 6,000 Gram Panchayat boundaries. In January this year, Revenue Minister R Ashoka held a meeting with Deputy Commissioners and CEOs of Zilla Panchayat and various issues including lack of space for graveyards in many villages were discussed. During the meeting, it was pointed out that as many as 4,370 villages (nearly 20% of Karnataka’s total) have no burial sites. State government authorities are in the process of acquiring land for this purpose and are expected to finalize it by the end of March. Most of the affected villages are in the northern Karnataka and Malnad regions. However, it was not possible to acquire land for all the villages. Revenue department officials said more than 1,000 villages had no cemeteries. To obtain land, Undersecretary of Department of Revenue (Land Approval-I) wrote a letter to all DCs as instructed by Principal Secretary (Department of Revenue) asking them to acquire land from private parties in villages that do not have government land. A senior department official told TNIE that for public works, DCs are allowed to purchase land by paying three times the indicative value. “We told officials to identify and buy land based on population. We have received letters from the villages concerned,” the official said. For 1.3 cents of inhabitants in the city, only 132 burial places “In some places that have no land, people take the dead to neighboring villages to bury them or cremate them. We are trying to make the facilities available,’ the manager said. In Bangalore too, there is a shortage of burial sites. With a population of 1.3 crore people, there are 132 cemeteries in the city which are full. No new cemeteries have appeared in the past two decades despite the increase in population. Spread over 87 acres, Kalpalli Cemetery at Kathalipalya in Sarvagnanagar is said to be the largest Hindu cemetery in the state. What are other countries doing? Israel has multi-storey underground burial tunnels. In Germany, the same graves are reused every few years. In Hong Kong, thousands of families are storing ashes in bags at funeral homes. Japan has a high-tech cemetery, where the ashes of the deceased are stored.

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