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Amid spike in COVID-related deaths, Mumbai's Muslim graveyard on verge of closure due to shortage of land

·3 min read
A board put up outside the Mumbai graveyard warning about its closure due to land shortage. [Photo/ANI]
A board put up outside the Mumbai graveyard warning about its closure due to land shortage. [Photo/ANI]

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], May 16 (ANI): Amid rising COVID-related deaths in Maharashtra, a Muslim graveyard in Mumbai has put up a hoarding outside, warning people of its closure due to a shortage of land to bury bodies.

The board put up by the graveyard authorities outside the Wadala Muslim Sunni Kabrastan also lists reasons for its closure.

It states that the graveyard has nine plots comprising 1,132 graves in which 128 graves are reserved for children and 165 graves are reserved for COVID dead bodies, with space for 839 graves for normal bodies.

It further stated that in 18 months around 950 to 1,000 bodies are received for burial in the graveyard but it has space for only 809 graves due to which graveyard authorities are facing a lot of problems in managing the bodies.

The board put up outside the graveyard also mentions that as per Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) it takes around 18 months for the bodies to get decomposed but that much time duration is too long looking at the number of deaths and therefore, the graveyard authorities are forced to dig out graves in just 10 to 12 months due to which bodies are left undecomposed.

It further stated "Looking at the current circumstances the graveyard can close anytime therefore we appeal to the people to write to their area's local corporators and MLAs and demand a new plot of land for the graveyard. We receive corpses from the jurisdiction of 10 corporators and two MLAs."

In red paint, the board further highlights that the Sunni Muslim graveyard's committee has been demanding more land for the last four years.

"In this connection, we have written to the CM, Mayor, Minority Commissioner Chairman, BMC Commissioner, ward officer, MLA and local corporator and are also following up," concluded the hoarding displayed outside the graveyard.

Mahmood Khan, President of the graveyard told ANI, "This grveyard is around 100 years old and now its condition is such that it may be closed anytime."

He further explained, "During the second wave of COVID-19 in the country more deaths have taken place which is why there has been a shortage of land to bury dead here. We have also informed the BMC and request the government to provide space for a new graveyard."

"Earlier we used to receive around 30 to 40 bodies but now in the times of pandemic this number has increased to around 65 to 70 due to which we are forced to dig out undecomposed bodies from the graves before time," he said.

Meanwhile, as per the Union Health Ministry, Maharashtra on Saturday recorded 34,848 new COVID-19 cases. The state recorded the highest single-day spike in casualties since the start of the pandemic with 960 deaths yesterday.

The total number of people succumbing to the disease rose to 80,512 yesterday. The number of active cases in the state stood at 4,94,032 after 59,073 patients recovered from the virus on Saturday, stated the ministry. (ANI)

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