Covid: Maharashtra MLA urges to expedite space allocation in Muslim cemeteries

Mumbai: Due to the high death rate of Covid-19 patients in the second wave, Muslim cemeteries have started to run out of burial space in Mumbai.

Owing to the crisis, Rais Shaikh - Samajwadi Party (SP) legislator and corporator from Nagpada, have written to the Municipal Commissioner urging him to expedite the process of space allocation for burial spots in the cemeteries.

Earlier, the Free Press Journal had reported that owing to the high death rate, most of the smaller cemeteries have either stopped burial of Covid-19 victims or have limited their services to local residents only.

"Due to the high death rate, many qabrastans like Versova are facing space constraints which is why we have urged the commissioner to do a ground assessment of the situation," Shaikh told FPJ.

"The MC has given us a hearing and has told us that he will call a review meeting at the earliest and will take around ten days for analysing the situation," he said.

Due to the shortage of spaces, presently majority of the burial for Muslim Covid-19 victims are being carried at South Mumbai's Bada Qabrastan only.

"At present, all the burial of Covid victims are happening in our cemetery, bodies are coming not only from all over Mumbai but also from satellite cities like Bhiwandi and Mumbra as well. Most of the smaller graveyards are now afraid that they might run out of pit," said Shoaib Khatib, trustee and chairperson of Jumma Masjid which manages the Bada Qabarstan.

"When the second wave was at its peak, we have buried more than 15 bodies in a day. I guess we have enough space to last the second wave but we really don't know, what to do if the pandemic continues," Khatib said.

"We have been given instructions for carrying out an assessment of burial spots, we will do proper scrutiny and present a proper report," said an official.

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