The largest cemetery in the national capital is soon likely to have no space left for burials as the number of deaths due to COVID-19 is increasing day by day in Delhi.
According to the reports of ThePrint, The Jadid Qabristan Ahle Islam cemetery, which is one of the largest cemeteries in the region spread over 45 acres at ITO, has witnessed around 700 burials due to COVID-19 so far.
Now as the death toll is reaching new heights in Delhi, Mohammad Shameem who is the supervisor of the graveyard says that only 60 more bodies can be buried in the cemetery.
Delhi registered 99 deaths on Tuesday,104 deaths was the highest which was recorded in Delhi on November 12, and now 131 record-breaking deaths have been reported in Delhi on Wednesday.
In the month of November alone, Delhi registered over 1,000 death out of which 730 deaths were recorded last week.
The increase has affected the area of the graveyard and as Shameem was waiting for another COVID dead body said, "If deaths continue to rise like this, we will soon face a shortage. We have space for only 60 more bodies here. We have already buried over 700 bodies here. If we continue to get 2-3 bodies a day, we will soon run out of space."
Besides the Jadid Qabirstan Ahle Islam, there are three other graveyards where the burials of COVID-19 victims can take place but not even a single one of them is of the size of the Jadid cemetery.
When the pandemic just started to grip the nation the Jadid cemetery was divided into two sections- one for COVID and another one for non-COVID burials.
"Of the 45 acres, we were initially given 1.6 acres for COVID burials," said Shameem. "Since then, the land has been allotted for COVID burials an additional three times and yet space is running out," he added. In order to increase the area for COVID burials, the Delhi Waqf Board has already allotted land in three instalments to the cemetery.
Shameem said due to the size of the cemetery a bulk of bodies come for the burial. "The other cemeteries are not even half the size of our cemetery, which is why most bodies are directed here. Some bodies get diverted to other cemeteries, but most come here," he added.
The cemetery comes under the jurisdiction of North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and they tried reaching out to both the Delhi Waqf Board and the AAP government, in order to get more land allotment for COVID burials.
"We had written a letter to both the Delhi Waqf Board as well as the Delhi government before Diwali about the space shortage here. But we haven't got any response yet. Delhi is seeing an average of 100 deaths a day since the last week, a decision needs to be taken on where all these bodies will go" said Jai Prakash, mayor, NDMC.
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