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KMC signs MoU with welfare organisations for improvement of graveyards

The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) has formed a central committee and subcommittees to improve the condition of cemeteries, end monopoly of graveyard mafia and facilitate the process of burials.

"The cooperation and collaboration of civil society, and social and welfare organisations has also been [ensured] so that the complaints of the citizens regarding the cemeteries can be resolved," KMC Administrator Laeeq Ahmed said during the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Sailani Welfare Trust and Jaffaria Disaster Management Cell (JDC) Welfare Foundation for the management of new cemeteries.

Sailani Welfare Trust President Yousuf Lakhani, Managing Committee Member Munawar Younis, CEO Muhammad Ghazal, JDC General Secretary Zafar Abbas, Senior Director Coordination Khalid Khan, Central Committee Convener and Director Media Management Ali Hassan Sajid, Director Cemetery Iqbal Pervez, Deputy Director Sarwar Alam and other officers were also present on the occasion.

The KMC administrator said that citizens should get graves in cemeteries at government rates. "We need to take the right steps regarding the improvement and management of cemeteries," he added.

He said that two new model cemeteries have been set up at Link Road National Highway and Mowach Goth Baldia Town in collaboration with social organisations.

According to Ahmed, the existing cemeteries were insufficient in terms of population of Karachi, so new graveyards needed to be built so that people could easily bury their loved ones. He said the KMC was grateful to the Sailani Welfare Trust and JDC for realising that basic need of the citizens and signing an MoU with the KMC.

The KMC administrator also invited other welfare agencies to come forward for improving the condition of cemeteries and help the KMC in this regard. "We must not lose sight of the fact that our final destination is the grave and we should try to make the funeral process better and easier," he stated.

Pervez said there were 203 cemeteries in the city, of which 89 were under management of various associations and societies while 49 were registered with the KMC. He added that there 50 unregistered cemeteries in the city.

He remarked that most of the cemeteries had been completely filled and there was no room for further burials there, so there was a need to build new cemeteries. Abbas said that the situation had changed due to the Covid-19 and the increase in the death rate had also led to an increase in the number of bodies being brought for burial in the cemeteries.

Lakhani said he would cooperate with the KMC in making new graveyards. He added that the establishment of a central committee and managing committees for better functioning of cemeteries was a welcome sign. He expressed the hope that the problems faced by the citizens regarding cemeteries would be resolved.