Islamabad’s citizens demand for more burial places as population surge

ISLAMABAD: With a massive surge in the federal capital population during last two decades, the residents of urban areas are running out of the burial places, opting to go to the neighboring areas for burying their loved ones.

Stressing the need for more facilities in urban Islamabad, they expressed dismay over slackness of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) which could not set up a new graveyard in the capital city during the recent past.

“We need more burial places in Islamabad’s urban areas as various communities lacking dedicated graveyards in their localities have resorted to use green belts along the Islamabad Expressway especially near Iqbal Town and Sohan to bury their near and dear ones,” said local Member of National Assembly (MNA) Raja Khurram Nawaz in an exclusive chat with APP.

He said exponential growth of population and mushrooming housing societies in the capital city had increased the demand of more burial places.

Exhorting the CDA to only issue No Objection Certificates (NOCs) and Layout Plans (LoPs) to those housing societies which ensured allocation of graveyards, schools and parks as per the law, he said “The non-availability of facility in various areas was the major issue that we had been told during the electioneering of last general election.”

Khurram said he had personally requested to the CDA for not issuing LoPs to the housing societies which were not setting up graveyards on the dedicated lands.

The MNA said he with the help of CDA Chairman Aamer Ali Ahmed had made sure establishment of two graveyards in two rural areas including Model Town and Firash town. Two more facilities were being planned for Bara Kahu and Shahzad Town, he added. 

Shrafat Ali, a resident of Sector G-7/4, regretting improper planning in the city, said graveyards spaces were shrinking due to increase in population.

He said migrant workers, who had been settled in the capital for last couple of decades, sometime faced problem in burying their loved ones in the designated graveyards, forcing them to take the dead to their native town or neighboring boroughs.

When contacted, CDA Chairman Aamer Ali said the plan for setting up of new facilities in Islamabad was under consideration and details with media would be shared shortly.

A top official of Metropolitan Corporation of Islamabad (MCI) said the department had sent a case to the CDA for allocation of lands for graveyards in various sectors, expressing hope that the plan would soon be in execution phase.

According to her, 100 acres of land was required for setting up a graveyard for Muslims, while 25 acres were needed for Christian community.

She said two graveyards each for Muslim and Christian community were set up in sectors H-11 and H-8 during the last decade, adding there were total seven burial places in urban areas and four in rural ones. - APP