No final resting place left in Karachi as severe crisis deepens – Pakistan


KARACHI: As there is no more land available for burial in most cemeteries in the city and a majority of cemeteries are under the control of the mafias, the city authorities seem to have ignored the seriousness of the situation as two new cemeteries being established on the outskirts of town would prove to be insufficient for the purpose.

Sources said Dawn Sunday that six cemeteries out of a total of 39 under the administrative control of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation had been closed for burial, leading to a sharp increase in cemetery prices across the city.

The cemeteries which have been closed for burial are Tariq Road Cemetery, Yasinabad Cemetery, Model Colony Cemetery, Azeempura Cemetery, Paposhnagar Cemetery and Colony Gate Cemetery, where no remains of cemetery.

They said grave repurposing was done frequently at city cemeteries, including those that had been closed, because the city’s death rate was about 0.33 percent of the total population per year.

At least six cemeteries in Karachi closed, putting pressure on those still open

KMC sources said that around 20 to 25 dead were buried in different cemeteries in the city, while more than 100 bodies were transported out of the city to other parts of the country daily.

They said the number of bodies taken out of the city has also decreased significantly in recent years, mainly due to the remarkable increase in transport costs.

(Above) Graffiti indicates that there is no room left for burial in the Muhammad Shah Cemetery in northern Karachi, while the neatly lined graves (below) are part of a private cemetery community-run within the Muhammad Shah Cemetery.—Fahim Siddiqi / White Star

The sources said that around 10,000 graves were needed each year in the city considering the death rate.

The sources said that if the municipal administration of the city set a price of 9,000 rupees for a grave, the price of the cemetery could go up to 200,000 rupees, depending on the location of the cemetery and the grave, because many people wanted to bury their graves. loved ones alongside their loved ones.

Karachi Cemetery Committee official and information from KMC Director Ali Hassan Sajid said Dawn that two new ‘model’ cemeteries were under construction in the town of Surjani and along the highway link road, adding that the burial would be carried out free of charge in conjunction with the social welfare organizations Saylani Welfare Trust and the JDC and that no sum would be invoiced to the people.

He said work at the 11-acre model cemetery in the town of Surjani was nearing completion with the leveling and dressing of the ground and the construction of a storm drain.

“The model cemetery with a capacity of more than 20,000 graves will be operational within the next two months,” he added.

Land Mafia

KMC’s media director said work on the second 22-acre model cemetery along Link Road on the highway was also underway.

However, sources said Dawn that work on the cemetery was hampered by a land-grabbing mafia.

Likewise, they said the land mafia was also active on a 10-acre piece of land that KMC had acquired from the revenue commission to establish a cemetery there.

The sources said that the city administration approached the district administration and the local police to have the cemetery grounds cleared of illegal occupiers, but to no avail.

They said an eight-member central committee comprising officers from the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) and representatives of social organizations, had been set up to improve the condition of the cemeteries.

The sources said the committee had taken several measures under which gravediggers and other staff working in the cemeteries would be registered and given regular ID cards.

They added that it had also been decided that children (persons under the age of 18) and women would not be eligible to carry out work in cemeteries.

However, the sources said that only 50 gravediggers have so far been registered with the KMC.

They said the purpose of establishing the central committee was to facilitate the burial procedure and improve infrastructure, provision of street lighting and planting of trees, prevention of theft of bodies and rescue. burial certificates.

The sources, however, said there were no improvements in the cemeteries in the city which were still under the control of different mafias.

Apart from the KMC cemeteries, there are also more than 200 cemeteries run by different NGOs and communities.

Posted in Dawn, April 11, 2022


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