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It's a costly city for the dead!

india Updated: Dec 08, 2006 19:36 IST
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It is said that finally all one needs is a two yards of land as the final resting place. And, perhaps that's why many members of the Christian community in Patna are vying each other to reserve a place in the graveyards.

There is severe shortage of land and caretakers of graveyards are auctioning them. The more one is ready to pay, the chances are that he or she can reserve a better place for the resting in peace.

But people here don't mind paying a few thousand rupees if it means reserving a good place for the near and dear ones or even themselves at the graveyards.

A person has to pay as per the kind of grave one wants. One has to pay more money for a cemented grave in comparison with a little lesser amount for an ordinary grave with just a cross.

One requires rupees 25,000 as the minimum price to reserve a piece of land for the dead. There is no maximum limit.

Digha, a caretaker of Patna Kurji Catholic Graveyard says they have been compelled to do this because of increase in population and the limited space available in graveyards. Therefore, in order to collect the funds to acquire the nearby lands they are reserving graves.

"There was no space left here. So we thought of purchasing nearby land to expand the graveyard. But we found out that the price of land is so high that we cannot afford it.

To collect the funds for additional land, we decided to reserve the land for those whose relatives are already here and who want to be interned besides them. In turn, we asked them to donate some money for the land," said Father Vincent, Parish priest.

Some people have already reserved the graves for themselves and their family here. They say that the Government should help the graveyards by making an arrangement for land.

"If government helps by needed arrangements of burial land, we will not be compelled to face such a problem. There is so much crisis of land that people are reserving graves for themselves and their family in advance," said Pascal Peter, a person who has reserved space for his own grave and others in his family.

Cemeteries are distinguished from other burial grounds by their location; they are usually not adjoined to a church.

A graveyard, on the other hand, is located in a churchyard, although a churchyard can also be any patch of land on church grounds.

Even if many rich Christians may not find it a bad idea paying a good price for their loved ones, how the poor will manage is a big question not many may find it easy to reply.

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