Graveyard spaces for Muslims have “practically disappeared” in Delhi and the area available currently will not even last two more years, a report compiled by the Delhi Minorities Commission has found. The document has attributed the situation to encroachment by public and government agencies and non-allotment of land for burial grounds.
The commission conducted a study of all graveyards in the national Capital through the Human Development Society in 2017 and then published a report titled “Problems and Status of Muslim Graveyards in Delhi”. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal released the report on Thursday, PTI reported.
The Human Development Society study found that Delhi has 131 graveyards that physically exist. However, 16 of these are not used because of several reasons such as litigation and bad landscape. “Even 43 of the existing ones have their lands encroached by different entities like community people, private individuals, private companies and government agencies,” the report said. The Delhi Waqf Board, however, lists 624 graveyards in the city.
The report added that despite an increase in the population of Muslims, very few graveyards have been developed in the last decade. “Only five graveyards are less than 10 year old,” the report said.
The commission has recommended an increase in capacity of existing graveyards by land filling, removal of encroachments, and priority handling of litigation, construction of new graveyards; retrieval of lost graveyards; adoption of space-saving methods and re-using of graves after a few years.
The document also suggested that boundary walls must be built and security guards hired to prevent encroachment. The commission said it will approach the Delhi government and its agencies such as the Delhi Waqf Board and Delhi Development Authority to immediately address the matter.