KARACHI    -  Sindh Local Government Minis­ter Syed Nasir Hussain Shah has said that graveyards in Karachi are out of space and there is im­mediate need of new graveyards in all six districts of the city.

Responding to a call atten­tion notice during the Sindh Assembly session on Monday, Nasir said that lands were iden­tified in different districts as ‘lack of space in graveyard has emerged as a major issue’. The minister said that action would also be taken against those who over charge for graves from the relatives of deceased. “It is of the great concern that the poor people of Sindh cannot afford graves for the deceased. Will the honourable Minister for Local Government, may please to give answer statement that acquir­ing grave in graveyards for the people of Sindh is serious is­sue. Relatives of deceased have to pay huge sum of money for the departed one?,” asked Bilal Ahmed of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. He said that graveyards of the city were out of space and the people were compelled to pay Rs 50,000 to 100,000 for a grave to bury their loved ones. “The Karachi Metropolitan Cor­poration asked Sindh govern­ment’s land department to allo­cate lands for the graveyards but to no avail. The PPP has failed to give Makaan (home) to the people at least give grave to the dead ones,” he added.

To another call attention no­tice moved by Syed Hashim Raza of the Muttahida Qaumi Move­ment-Pakistan, Nasir said that the provincial government had removed encroachment from several parks and playgrounds, adding that 200 more parks and playgrounds would also be taken from clutches of the land grabbers. He said that in the past, several amenity plots were encroached through ‘China Cut­ting’ but the government had taken action against the grab­bers. The MQM-P lawmaker asked the government policy on encroachment issue by raising the matter of alleged encroach­ment on Bradari Sports Ground in Landhi.

To another notice moved by Shahnawaz Jadoon of the PTI, the minister said there was huge gap between supply and demand of water in Karachi.

Separately, Khurram Sherza­man of the PTI raised issue of drug usage in educational in­stitutions and said that the stu­dents were getting involved in this menace as different kinds of drugs were easily available in institutions. “A mother of a child who became a drug ad­dict had asked me to raise this issue in the assembly,” he said and assured the government his party’s support in efforts to curb this menace.

Minister for Excise and Taxa­tion Mukesh Kumar Chawla ap­preciated the PTI lawmaker for bringing the issue in the assem­bly and said that this menace could be curbed through joint efforts.

Later, the house was ad­journed till Tuesday at 2 pm with most of the business re­mained untouched.