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Telangana: ‘Housefull’ boards at Graveyards in Hyderabad

A grave scenario in Hyderabad: Spaces for entire family are being booked in advance Each space range from `20,000 to over `1 lakh Enclosures erected for spaces booked by rich,

Hyderabad: Graveyards are literally overcrowded in the Hyderabad city – there is no place for the dead to rest in peace. Rapid urbanisation has meant they are fast running of burial spaces. With officials not finding any new places to set up graveyards, cemeteries, the managements of existing graveyards are hard put to cope up with the increasing demand, with the result that some have adopted a new strategy to wade off non-locals. They have put up ‘housefull,’ boards or signages at the gates.

For instance, the graveyard in Santosh Nagar near Madina Masjid, has a notice to the public, raising eyebrows of many. Residents of Banu Nagar and surrounding areas in Santosh Nagar are in utter disbelief after graveyard committee came up with the notice ‘Qabarastan house full’. “I was shocked. I got goosebumps after reading the notice and wondered if the doomsday is near, as even deceased have no place to rest here,” said Mujeeb Khan.

According to residents, the graveyard is one of the oldest and the biggest in the area. “My grandmother passed away and we are looking for her final resting place. At graveyard near Madina masjid, we were told that the burial ground was full, and we were asked to look for another location,” said Shaik Khader, a resident of Darubjung colony. To his utter disbelief, Khader came to know that residents were booking spaces for graves in advance. “They are spending huge amounts on reserving spaces for their entire families and for installation of fence around the spaces. This is the reason the committee is refusing space for others,” he added.

Interestingly, burial space in a graveyard having famous dargah will be allocated on paying an amount in the range of Rs 20,000 to over 1 lakh, which very few families can afford. It has been over three years since the Waqf Board chairman Mohammed Saleem cautioned Dargah committees and Mutawallis to provide space and also not to collect any amount for burial in any graveyard. An attender at the graveyard in Old City, said most of the burial land has been booked in advance. When asked about the presence of an enclosure large enough to construct a hall in the graveyard, he said that it belongs to a local leader and there are many such enclosures booked by the rich and politicians.

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