The one acre CSI burial ground in Railupeta is already full

For nine years they have been agitating. All they want is a place where they can give a decent burial to the loved ones who have passed away.

There are over 20,000 people who belong to religions that believe in burying their dead. These citizens living in Railpeta, Karmikanagar, Pedda Erukapadu, Aravapeta, Daniyalapeta, Pamula Colony, Panchavati Colony, Yanadi Colony, Naganna Cheruvu, Chenchu Colony, Vambay colony, Goodmenpeta, and New Colony in different parts of the town find it difficult to decently complete this ritual.

They have no place to bury their dead. The one acre CSI burial ground in Railupeta is already full. “We have to remove one body from the ground to bury a fresh one,” said Balasani Chinakondayya, a resident of Goodmenpet, a hamlet which is more than 100 years old.

Ex-serviceman Kancherla Prakasha Rao went on hunger strike twice for the cause of getting land allocated for a burial ground. Talking to The Hindu Mr. Rao said he had met two Chief Ministers, more than half a dozen ministers and umpteen officials for the purpose.

Residents of Gudivada have gone on hunger strike for 11 days in 2008 and for 13 days in 2011 for the cause. In 2008 the tehsildar of Gudivada gave in writing that land for a spacious new burial ground would be earmarked in three months. The tehsildar, RDO and Municipal Commissioner in consultation with the district Collector promised that their problem would be resolved when the people went on fast for 13 days in front of the Gudivada Busstand in 2011.

Actually officials came down only after a rasta roko was conducted in front of the Busstand for four hours. But, all three officials got transferred after that and no land has been allotted yet. “Once we wanted to take the body to the RDO office and bury it there,” Mr. Chinakondayya said. The fact the local MLA belongs to the Telugu Desam is also not in favour of the agitators.

The graveyard in Railupeta has houses on both sides. “The burial ground is now less than one acre. People have slowly encroached upon it. They have even removed the tombs and the bodies while encroaching on the grave yard,” Mr. Prakasha Rao alleged. At the back of the burial ground is low-lying area that is not fit for burying.

Water seeps into the area from an adjacent aquaculture tank that has been abandoned. It is the poor who have a greater difficulty in getting a slot in this grave yard, he said.