Hindustan Times (East UP)

Rush of bodies: Gravedigge­rs work overtime, charge more

- HT-Correspond­ent allahabad.htdesk@hindustant­imes.com HT

PRAYAGRAJ: The situation at graveyards of the city is no different than that of cremation ghats, where a large number of bodies are arriving every day. Gravedigge­rs are working overtime and have increased their labour fee.

And yet, the number of hands falls short. Recently, some graves were dug using JCB machines, say graveyard authoritie­s.

Prayagraj has at present over a dozen large and small graveyards where committees are set up for their maintenanc­e and engaging gravedigge­rs. The large graveyards include Kaladanda graveyard at Kareli, Kaladanda Himmatganj, Dariabad, Akelwa Aam Kydganj, Rasulpur graveyard and Karbala, while small ones are situated at Gulabbadi, Takia graveyard Hasan Manzil, Akbarpur graveyard, Ashok Nagar, Mohtasimga­nj, Rajruppur etc.

Chairman of Kabristan Committee of Kaladanda graveyards of Kareli, Himmatganj and Akbarpur, Mohd Javed, said at least 15 bodies are arriving at Kaladanda Qabristan at Kareli everyday while earlier that number used to be around four per day. Similar is the situation at Kaladanda Himmatganj where five to six bodies are being buried every day now, while earlier only one or two used to be buried. Being a large graveyard, Dariabad Qabristan is witnessing the burial of seven to eight bodies each day in contrast to earlier days when few were buried. Similarly, four to five bodies at Karbala and two to three bodies at Rasulpur graveyard on an average are being taken for burial these days, Javed further informed.

Even as a large number of bodies are being buried every day at graveyards, gravedigge­rs are charging hefty amounts, more than usual fee of Rs 3,500, from kin of the deceased. Labour fee is regulated at graveyards where committees are set up and are playing an active role in burial arrangemen­ts. However, at smaller graveyards gravedigge­rs are charging upto Rs 8,000 depending upon the situation.

While admitting that gravedigge­rs are charging a hefty fee at will at many graveyards due to the arrival of a large number of bodies, Mohd Javed said people are forced to pay the amount as they have no other option. They are charging more if the family is in a haste to bury the body of their kin.

At Kaladanda Qabristan in Kareli, Rs 3500 is charged for burial including the charge for


wooden planks that are used to cover the inner chamber of graves. At present eight gravedigge­rs are engaged at Kaladanda Qabristan at Kareli but due to the situation, four labourers were also hired for digging graves. A JCB machine was hired to dig graves two days back as no spare grave digger or labourer was available, Javed said.

A majority of the bodies arriving for burial are of persons aged between 60 to 80 years while some are also of younger people.

The situation is similar at the Rajapur Christian Cemetery, where around four to six bodies are arriving for burial every day. Graveyard Committee member Sanjay Alfred said for the last one week, the number of bodies has increased all of a sudden. On Wednesday, four people were buried, while six were buried on Tuesday. Earlier, three to four burials used to take place in a month.

Jacob, a member of the Christian Community, said that there are three Christian cemeteries in the city which were at Rajapur, Myorabad and Naini. The scene is much the same at all three graveyards, he said.

 ??  ?? Kin of deceased people in a queue at Kaladanda graveyard office
Kin of deceased people in a queue at Kaladanda graveyard office

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