Hike in graveyard charge by DSCC angers citizens Burial fees enhanced to Tk 50,000 from Tk 1500


Reza Mahmud :
A man came from Azimpur Notun Paltonline to Azimpur graveyard to bury the body of his elder brother.
But he was astonished when the Assistant Mohrar asked Tk 2100 for this.
The man protested, saying it was totally free till days.
Just then he noticed that the Dhaka South City Corporation made rule to fix fees as cost burial.
Such scenery is found in Jurain and Khilgaon graveyards in recent days.
He knew the burial was free of cost because they used to bury relatives in last two years without cost.
But the surprising matter is that the DSCC fixed fees for burial in the graveyard.
On October 5, a press release signed by DSCC Secretary Aktaruzzaman said from now the corporation would charge fees for burial from Tk 1500 to Tk 50,000.
The officials started to collect fees from October 7.
"How do they sanction fees on burial of a Muslim if poor people?" questioned Abdul Khaleque, a street vendor.
He called it 'unjustice' saying he is not solvent to bury his mother body.
"Now, I have to beg to bury my mother's body. It is inhuman behaviour of the authority who decided to impose such fees," Abdul Khaleque said expressing his anger.
Similarly many people are expressing their anger in all of three DSCC's graveyards the employees said.
In Khilgaon graveyard, an employee said on condition of anonymity that surprised people who come to bury someone here expressed anger at collection of fees from October 7.
He said that everyday about seven to 10 bodies come to bury here which was free of cost for last two years.
Sources said that the councillors in a recent meeting proposed raising the fees to met fund crisis.
They want to discourage people to reserve grave.
They also want people to carry bodies out of the capital to bury in village home whoever able to do so.
DSCC Mayor Sheikh Fazle Nur Taposh nodded the councillors' proposal.  
As per the Graveyard Management Policy-2013, the registration fee for per body burial was Tk 200. But it is hiked to Tk 1,000 now.
According to the previous policy, one had to pay Tk 300,000 for 10 years, Tk 600,000 for 15 years, Tk 900,000 for 20 years and Tk 1,200,000 for 25 years for preserving the grave.
The new policy suggested Tk 500,000 for 10 years, 1,000,000 for 15 years, Tk 1,500,000 for 20 years and Tk 2,000,000 for 25 years.
The reburial fee in the preserve graveyard was hiked to Tk 50,000 in the new policy from Tk 15,000.  
DSCC spokesperson and Public Relations Officer Abu Nasher said, "There are very limited spaces in our graveyard. In such circumstances, if graveyard is being preserved in this way for 15 to 25 years, the whole city will turn into a graveyard. To discourage graveyard preservation, the DSCC increased fees."
He said also that the DSCC will provide burial service free of cost for unidentified body.