Christian community flags issue of lack of burial space

Kalpalli cemetery, one of the largest burial grounds for Catholics, in Bengaluru.   | Photo Credit: K. MURALI KUMAR

With COVID-19 deaths on the rise, Christian community in Bengaluru has flagged the issue of shortage of burial places for those succumbing to the infection. The Archdiocese of Bangalore has appealed to the civic body to immediately allot five acres on the city’s outskirts.

In Kalpalli cemetery, one of the largest burial grounds for Catholics, 54 bodies were buried in March while 45 have been buried so far this month. In Mysuru Road cemetery, also for Catholics, two burials are taking place daily on an average since March. The Hosur Road cemetery that is open for all denominations is also reporting an average of three or four burials a day. These numbers since March exceed the normal monthly average of about 10 to 15 burials in the city while the community already faces a huge space constraint.

“While last year average deaths reported was about 50 a month, this has increased to over 100 deaths since March this year,” a senior functionary in the Archdiocese said.

In a letter to BBMP Commissioner Gaurav Gupta on Friday, Archbishop of Bangalore Peter Machado requested five acres to be allotted to Christians immediately. This is the second appeal for a burial ground in less than a year. The Archbishop had requested Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa for land earlier. The file had been moved to the Revenue Department and an announcement of the allotment was made in the BBMP Council. “Since the threat of pandemic had come down, the issue was also not pushed forward,” the Archbishop said in his letter. He, however, pointed out that with the second wave affecting thousands in Bengaluru, there is an urgent need for a cemetery for Christians.

Some cremating

Spokesperson for the Archdiocese J.A. Kanthraj said, “Families are requesting other families for space in the grave where already a body is buried. Where the burial has taken place more than six months before, such spaces are being dug up and the body is being buried.” He said that given the space crunch, some were even cremating.

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Printable version | May 18, 2021 2:23:41 AM |

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