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Mumbai: ‘Create promised graveyard soon’

Updated on: 10 June,2024 07:13 AM IST  |  Mumbai
A Correspondent |

With Deonar cemetery closing again, management asks BMC for reserved land

Mumbai: ‘Create promised graveyard soon’

The problem for burials started in June 2023. File pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

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Mumbai: ‘Create promised graveyard soon’

The BMC has decided to close the Deonar cemetery for burials again, as it has reached its capacity of accommodating 1,300 deceased. It will be reopened by January 2025, according to BMC health officials in the M East ward.

“We wish to inform you through this letter that the capacity for adult bodies in Deonar cemetery is about to be over. Only five more bodies can be buried here,” reads a letter from the Deonar qabristan management to the BMC.

When a cemetery reaches its maximum capacity, it is closed for 18 months. This allows enough time for a body to decompose, after which the grave can be reused.
Meanwhile, the management has asked the authorities to develop a cemetery on an additional land parcel near Deonar cemetery, which the BMC has earmarked for use as a burial ground.

“We wish to remind the BMC of the urgent need to create this cemetery at the earliest, otherwise people would be inconvenienced. We are sending people to Rafi Nagar for now but even that will reach its capacity soon,” said Abdul Rehman Shah from the Deonar qabristan management.

The M East ward's Medical Officer of Health (MOH), Dr Sanjay Funde said, “We were waiting for the elections to end to start work. It will begin in the coming days. The new cemetery will have a capacity of about 1,200. The old Deonar cemetery will repoen by January.”

The ward faced a crisis last June when it was discovered that bodies were not completely decomposing at the cemetery in Rafi Nagar. Subsequently, the cemetery was shut down and reopened in March this year. Until August, residents had to take their deceased to graveyards far from their homes. For nine months, there was excessive pressure on the other two cemeteries in the area, Deonar and Baiganwadi.

In January this year, Maharashtra's urban development department allowed the civic body to convert the 5,242-square-meter plot near Deonar cemetery—which was previously reserved for a transit camp—into a cemetery. However, the work for that has not begun.

Capacity of new cemetery

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