RAWALPINDI  - Graveyards in Rawalpindi are in shambles due to indifference of the concerned authorities and encroachments by the land mafia who constructed shops, workshops and houses in graveyards’ land.
Residents of different areas said that now they could not find place to burry dead bodies of their loved ones and have to use some influential person’s reference to get pace in graveyards. They said that the city administration had announced to hold a survey of the graveyards to determine their boundaries so that encroachments could be ended but no survey has been conducted yet.
The residents said that Auqaf Department and district administration were not paying heed to the maintenance of the graveyard, resulting in increase in the incidents of insolence of the graves. Graveyards in Committee Chowk, Dhok Khabba, Pir Wadhai and Jadeed graveyard, among others are in very derelict condition.
Meanwhile, the residents lauded the allocation of Rs1 billion for the maintenance of graveyards in the province by Chief Minister (CM) of Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif and demanded of the CM to make the district administration responsible for the supervision of the project instead of divisional administration. They further demanded that survey of graveyards in Rawalpindi be conducted as soon as possible and graveyard lands should be vacated from land mafia. It is pertinent to mention here that the CM Punjab announced the allocation of Rs1 billion to construct boundary walls, install streetlights and provide water in the graveyards of the province.