88 Chennai burial grounds to get a makeover

Even as red tape and socio-cultural challenges continue to reduce space for burial, the Chennai Corporation is pinning its hopes on a project to offer 88 burial grounds a makeover.

As many as 206 burial grounds have been offering space for burying or cremating at least 56,000 bodies a year in the city. As many as 88 burial grounds that are not caste-based have already been identified across the city for improvement. Work on 50 burial grounds in added areas and 38 in the old city limits will begin shortly.

Various proposals by Chennai Corporation and Municipal Administration and Water Supply (MAWS) Department to offer solutions failed to take off owing to red tape or a lack of consensus among various sections of the society.

The Corporation was planning to adopt the Mumbai model, with permission to reopen a grave after seven years to bury another member of the same family.

The MAWS department is yet to give the nod.

A circular sent by Corporation last year to stop construction of tombs in burial grounds has not been implemented, owing to opposition from residents who believe the tombs are a mark of respect. According to an estimate, Shenoy Nagar burial ground has space for just 158 bodies.

“We have requested 15 acres of government land in Ambattur for expanding an existing burial ground. The space could be used by members of all the churches,” said B.R. Asirvatham, head of Ambattur United Christian Foundation.

Many residents have also been requesting the government to offer space for burial on the outskirts with large land parcels.

“The DMK government offered a large piece of land in Sriperumbudur for Christians. But the project was rejected by some representatives of churches,” said an official.

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Printable version | Nov 24, 2020 7:54:07 AM |

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