Post floods, dead houses end in graveyards

SRINAGAR: Mud bricks recovered from the houses damaged by the September floods in the Valley are finding their way to Muslim graveyards.
Mud bricks were used to line internal walls of the houses built four or five decades ago in residential colonies like Balgarden, Karan Nagar, Jawahar Nagar and most of the old city. Such houses either collapsed or were damaged badly in the flooded areas.
The owners are reconstructing the houses using baked bricks and other durable construction material. The mud bricks are being donated to graveyards.
Islam doesn’t allow the use of any nonperishable material in graves. About 100 to 120 mud bricks are used to seal the chamber, dug on the side of a grave’s pit, in which the body is laid to rest.
“We retrieve a lot of mud bricks from the walls of these (damaged) houses. And the owners have instructed us to handover them to the caretakers of the local mosque for use in burials,” Muhammad Ibrahim Bhat, a labourer dismantling a damaged house at Balgarden—one of the worst hit areas—told Kashmir Reader.
Normally, every mohalla stocks mud bricks in the premises of local mosques or elsewhere. The kin of the deceased pay for the bricks at the time of burial.
Several gravediggers told Kashmir Reader that mud bricks from areas wracked by floods have augmented the local mohalla stocks without any cost.
Use of mud bricks was common in traditional architecture, keeping in view the cold climatic conditions. But the houses constructed nowadays are entirely made of baked bricks, cement and concrete.
“With floods damaging the old houses, the use of mud bricks in construction of houses will end completely,” said Mohammad Abdullah Sofi, a mason.