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Cemeteries run out of space, Chennai Christians want new burial ground

- June 20, 2022

Chennai, June 20 (BPNS)

The Christian community of Chennai is facing a major problem with the cemeteries running out of space. The community wants the government to reduce the time frame for opening the vaults of family graves in cemeteries for reburial. The community also has requested the state government to provide a new burial ground on the outskirts of the city.

The Christian community also demanded the government to allow opening the multivaults of the Kilpauk cemetery which is situated in a sprawling 16-acre compound. However, the cemetery which is the oldest and the largest in the city dating back to 1903 is now permitting only burial for families whose members are directly interred in it.

The Kilpauk cemetery had built multi-tier vaults in 2007 and could accommodate 450 bodies in three vaults with each vault accommodating 150 bodies.

The vaults however became full in three years after the new vaults were introduced.

Bosco Alangar Raj, Secretary of the Madras Cemeteries Board trust told BPNS that they have sought permission from the authorities for opening the vaults and want the state government to fix a time frame for opening the vaults. Presently Tamil Nadu does not have a fixed rule for opening the vaults while the neighbouring states of Kerala and Karnataka have vaults opened within a period of two years.

The Madras Cemeteries Board secretary also said that they have requested the government of Tamil Nadu for at least five acres of land in the outskirts of the city for felicitating the burial of Christians of all denominations.

He also said that families will not be allowed to build tombs as a measure of saving space.

The Greater Chennai Corporation officials told BPNS that the government would soon take a decision regarding opening of graves for reburials within a period of two years as requested by the Christian community of Chennai.

Sources in the Catholic church told BPNS that if the graves are opened for reburial within a period of two years, it would relieve much pressure on space constraints in the cemeteries.