Rest in peace, where?

Mandya's burn(y)ing problem continues to persist

Burying the dead and praying so that the soul rests in peace is a common practise among Christians. But, it is no more peaceful for the residents of Guthalu, on the outskirts of the city, and surrounding villages.

Thanks to the negligence of the district administration and the departments concerned for their failure to address the problem being faced at the Christian cemetery since decades. Wastewater from the city is let into the lake adjoining the cemetery. It enters the cemetery, stagnates and makes it marshy. The drains are unscientific and are of no use.

Water appears at a depth of 4 feet and the whole pit, meant for burrial, gets filled with water when dug further, forcing the people to complete the rituals in haste.
Complaints, seeking solution to the problem, over the decades, have fallen on deaf ears. Members of the Christian community demand for a suitable alternative land for burying the dead.

Thomas Benjamin, a resident of the village says the current status of the burial ground is pathetic, due to rains.

As it becomes difficult to bury the body in pits filled with water, some opt to complete the rituals by shifting the body to Mysore, he says. Some have even completed the final rites at the Hindu cemetery or Muslim cemetery at Hebbal and Santhemala respectively.

About 3.20 acres of land was allotted for the Christian burial ground in 1993 on survey No 396. But, it has not been developed scientifically.

V Premadas, secretary of Christian Association, said, memoranda have been submitted a number of times to the CMC, district administration and elected representatives, demanding construction of drains to clear the grounds.

The tahsildar, who made a spot inspection in 2012, submitted a report to the Deputy Commissioner to direct the CMC and Karnataka Urban Development and Sewerage Board to make provision for a system to flush out drain water that gets stagnated.
When contacted, CMC Commissioner Dasegowda said, it has been decided to level the ground with soil and prevent drain water from entering the cemetery.

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