LAHORE – The City District Government on Wednesday banned the booking of sites for graves in the City in general and in Miani Sahib Graveyard, in particular. All applications in this regard have been rejected, said District Coordination Officer Ahad Khan Cheema on Thursday. The decision was taken after the DCO office had received complaints that influential persons were booking favorite spots in this and other graveyards after paying sop to officials, creating problems for the poor. “The officials and the committee members sell sites for graves in almost every graveyard of the City. They also reserve “specious places” for the graves of their relatives or blue-eyed persons free of cost. For the same, they demand money from others, especially the poor families to allow them to bury their dead,” the insiders claimed. Mr Cheema, who was addressing a meeting with the members of Administrative Committee of the Miani Sahib Graveyard at Town Hall, said the CDGL had also decided to extend the covered area of the graveyard.Ordering the improvement in the existing facilities at the graveyard, Mr Ahad also directed the committee members to ensure provision of clean drinking water, electrical fans and other basic facilities for the Janazgah there. The members suggested that a parking area be constructed in the basement of the Janazgah to ensure that the traffic on the adjoining roads was not disturbed.The DCO also issued directions for graveyard committees to stop grabbing land forcibly, registration or reservation of graves. He warned them that strict action would be initiated for disobeying his orders,” they revealed. All the graveyards in the City, it may be noted, are under the direct control of the City District Government and the DCO is the head of the graveyard committees, which comprise elected representatives, some CDG officials and a few notables.Respectable persons in all the concerned areas, duly nominated by the DCO, are responsible for looking after the matters concerning the graveyards. This includes the maintenance of the graveyards, including the provision of land for burying the dead.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 03-Feb-2012 here.