Hyderabad: No space to RIP as graveyards vanish

Graveyards with encroachments worry Muslim community
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Graveyards with encroachments worry Muslim community

Highlights

  • Graveyards with encroachments worry Muslim community
  • Almost 40 % land meant for graveyards grabbed

Hyderabad: Graveyards are literally overcrowded in the City. There is no place for the dead to 'rest in peace'. Graveyards coupled with encroachments worry the Muslim community. Its members are a worried lot as finding space for burial is getting difficult day-by-day. Rapid urbanisation has meant Hyderabad is fast running short of burial space. Graveyards are shrinking; the problem is becoming grimmer because of rampant land-grabbing and official apathy.

Almost 40 per cent of land meant for graveyards has been grabbed. The biggest problem in the city is searching for a resting place for the dead.

According to a social activist, most city graveyards are encroached. Pointing to the illegal constructions in graveyards like Kala Patthar, Jiyaguda and Darussalam, Osman Mohammed Khan, TPCC organising secretary, said, "when I visited the graveyard in Kalapatther, the boundary wall of the graveyard has been demolished. Graves attached to the wall were destroyed; huge construction works are going on," added Osman. "As per law, the construction of a house should be at least three feet inside the property.

But construction is on by extending 3-4 feet. In Kalapather, pillars and walls have been built inside graveyard by levelling graves," he asserted. "This clearly shows that the graveyard committee is involved in illegal activities and TS Wakf Board has failed to save graveyards in the city," he alleged. In areas like Begum Bazar and Shahinayath Jung, half of graveyards are encroached, demolished; huge buildings have been constructed.

The community is facing inconvenience in finding grave space for burial in these areas. "In Darussalam, near Pan Mandi, the graveyard was encroached; illegal business were being run by erecting temporary shades. The retaining wall was demolished and construction work is on for commercial space."

Several areas in the Old City like Balapur, Pisalbanda, Falaknuma, Misri Gunj, Alaibad, Asifnagar and other graveyards are facing similar issues. Mohammed Ahmed, vice-president, TDP Minority Cell, said in Jiyaguda there is an illegal construction inside the graveyard and claiming it as own property. However, the land belongs to graveyard, as shown in Wakf records. A complaint was also filed but nothing was done till date," added Ahmed.

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