Vadodra: Following illegal construction at Covid burial ground, trust writes to Collector

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By: Express News Service | Vadodra | Published: June 13, 2020 11:54:21 pm

The Makarpura Christian Cemetery has not seen any Covid-19 burials from the community since the VMC designated it. (Representational)

Days after the Makarpura Christian Cemetery was designated as a Covid-19 burial ground for the Christian community in Vadodara, an illegal construction inside its plot has left members of the community baffled. Father Isaac Arackaparambil, who is the sole trustee of the Divine Child Seva Kendra — the custodian of the cemetery land allotted by the District Collector — has written a letter to the administration, drawing their attention to the matter as any construction inside the burial ground is in violation of the considerations under which the land was allotted to the community for burials.

In his letter to the Collector, Arackaparambil — who is also the Parish Priest of Don Bosco Church, Vadodara — has said, “As per the order of the District Collector dated October 10, 2002, a plot of land measuring two guntas (approximately 164 square metres) in Makarpura, Vadodara, was allotted for the purpose of burial of the deceased of the Christian Community in response to the request of the Sole Trustee Divine Child Seva Kendra Trust dated December 4, 2000. As per the conditions laid down in clause four of the above order, no construction is permitted on this land and it is to be used for the sole purpose of burial of the dead. A Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) letter May 24, 2003, permits the use of demarked land for burial purpose only for Christian Community (as an open burial cemetery).”

The letter further states that on June 10, a member of the community who had visited the cemetery noticed the construction and informed Arackaparambil about it. “On verifying the issue, some members of the Cemetery Committee of the church learnt that a few other members of the Committee were aware of the ongoing construction. The internal committee that has been appointed to see to the daily upkeep of the cemetery has failed to provide any suitable reply. So, I have informed them that the construction is in gross violation of the Collector’s Order, awarding the land only for open burials. Since Divine Child Seva Kendra is the custodian of the land, which belongs to the District Collector, and I am the sole trustee, it is my moral obligation to oppose this violation.”

Arackaparambil said he has informed the authorities that the construction work inside the Makarpura Christian Cemetery has been done without his knowledge. “Since this land has been allocated to the Divine Child Trust, of which I am the sole trustee, and since the said activity is in violation of the Collector’s order, it is my moral obligation to keep them informed. I have asked the Collector to advise us on the action we can take in this matter,” he said.

The Makarpura Christian Cemetery has not seen any Covid-19 burials from the community since the VMC designated it as a Covid-19 burial ground on May 8

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