Space running out.
Tuz Khurmatu residents raise concerns over cemetery capacity
Tuz Khurmatu — Residents of Tuz Khurmatu are expressing concerns over the overcrowding at local cemeteries.
Ali Mohammed, a local, shared with 964media, “At times, digging new graves leads to the disturbing discovery of previous remains.”
The city hosts four main cemeteries: the Grand Cemetery, Imam Hassan Cemetery, Imam Ahmad Cemetery, and the Martyrs’ Cemetery, where space is increasingly limited.
“Graves are often too close together, forcing families to search extensively for a suitable burial site for their loved ones,” Mohammed continued.
Maari Rashid, head of the Tuz Khurmatu Municipality, acknowledged the issue in a statement to 964media but indicated that solving the problem falls outside their purview. He highlighted that the Shia and Sunni endowments (waqfs), which oversee some cemeteries, bear responsibility.
Rashid also pointed out that parts of the cemetery land have been repurposed for non-burial uses, such as parks, playgrounds, and green areas, thereby reducing the space available for graves.
A 964media reporter reached out to Murtaza Biraqdar, director of the Shia Endowment in Tuz Khurmatu. Biraqdar agreed to the removal of the playgrounds and other structures encroaching on cemetery grounds, attributing the issue to the municipality’s failure to enforce regulations effectively.
“Although we have built parks and playgrounds within the cemetery boundaries, these areas, being public property, can legally be demolished by the municpality to extend the cemetery,” Biraqdar added.