The bereaved who wish to offer prayers at the graves of their family members at the graveyard abutting the Harishchandra Ghat crematorium have to carefully pick their way over mounds of garbage. It lies scattered around the entrance and often, on the graves itself. The entrance to the temple near the gate is also littered.
For some years now, the graveyard is being used as a garbage pickup point. The Hindu had reported this in February 2010 (‘Allow them to rest in peace’). Sadly, the situation has not changed much.
An employee of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), on condition of anonymity, said garbage collected from Sriramapura, Lakshmi Narayanapura, Railway Road and surrounding areas is dumped every day at the graveyard. The contractor loads some 15 tipper autos with garbage around noon every day. The compactor is then taken out of the premises only after 4 p.m. “The tipper autorickshaws are parked within the graveyard,” he said.
Mukund Raj, a private company employee attending a ritual being performed at the far end of the graveyard, said it was unfortunate that garbage was being dumped here. “Graveyards are considered to be sacred; perhaps as sacred as temples. I wonder why this sacred space is being defiled by the BBMP.”
Venkatesh B.H., a local resident, pointed out that those coming to the graveyard are usually grief-stricken and not in a proper frame of mind.
“The sight of garbage dumped callously on the graves of their loved ones is likely to agitate them further. The BBMP is being insensitive by not shifting the garbage pickup point from the graveyard,” he opined.
‘No sites available’
BBMP’s Superintendent Engineer (West Zone) Jayaram admitted that garbage was being dumped in the graveyard.
“The problem is the lack of space. The BBMP has been looking for alternative sites. However, no headway has been made.”
He maintained that the garbage was being cleared every day. “The landfills allow dumping only at night-time. This means that through the day, the garbage-laden compactor has to be parked inside the premises. We have no other option.”
Mr. Jayaram said pourakarmikas have been instructed to not defile the graves.
“However, with the garbage load increasing, it often spills over on to them.” He would direct health officials to ensure that cleanliness within the premises is maintained, he added.