Protesting against the lack of burial grounds in New Panvel, the Muslim and Christian community took a dead body to the office of the City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) on Friday. The issue was resolved out after the officials assured a meeting with Tanaji Satre, acting managing director, Cidco, this week.
The body of Mehboobabi Jalgar, a resident of New Panvel was taken to the Sector 1 office of the agency around 10am.
Ali Jalgar, whose mother's body was taken to the office, said, "We have no choice but to go all the way to old Panvel to bury the dead. The community has been suffering for long. To make them aware about our problems, we agreed to take the body to the office."
Around 7,000 Muslims and 10,000 Christians live in the node developed by Cidco. Darul Aman Trust, a Muslim organisation, had first raised the issue in January 1995. The trust was allotted a plot in 1998, which was taken back in 2002, before it could be developed and used. The plot was used to build a bridge instead.
The trust, then, renewed its efforts to get another plot but was unable to do much owing to the objections from some quarters.
With their constant follow-ups, the corporation allotted a plot admeasuring 4,000.12 sqm for a Muslim burial ground in Sector 12 in New Panvel in 2008. The Christians, too, were given a plot there.
AM Inamdar, general secretary of the trust, said: "We had signed a lease agreement with Cidco and took possession of the burial ground. But, we are still unable to use the ground as it is rocky and not fit for burial."
"Post the allotment, Cidco assured us that it would provide us with the required infrastructure. But that didn't happen," said AS Mujawar, president of the trust.
It was only in 2010 that Cidco finally awarded a contract for filling up the plot. But, as soon as workers reached the plot to begin work, residents stopped them. A group of eleven housing societies filed a petition stating their objections to the allotment in the court. The matter has been pending since then.
Khaleel Athavane, a member of the trust, said, "The burial plot is far from the housing societies. Cidco has been neglecting our demand. As no stay order has been issued, Cidco can begin its work with police protection. But, they are not doing so."