Lucknow had 47 Shia graveyards registered with the Shia Central Board of Waqfs (SCBW), but 31 of them do not exist any more. Private houses and other establishments have come up on their land. This has resulted in acute land shortage for burial space, leading to a steep rise in the rates of grave land. People are reserving their burial land in graveyards during their lifetime at a premium.
The situation came to the fore when some Shia community members complained to SCBW about costly grave land at Imambara Ghufran Maab, which is allegedly under the caretakership of Shia cleric Kalbe Jawwad. Working chairman of SCBW Syed Waseem Rizvi confirmed the report and stated that land of each grave was sold for Rs 65,000, making it impossible for poor Shias to bury their dead.
People have started booking their grave land while still alive. Such land, known as hayati qabr (living grave), usually has a small board with the name of the person who has bought it. The general rate is Rs 10,000 for the first three years and then renewal on additional payment. People also make bulk bookings and then sell grave land like real estate. Full Story
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