EghtesadOnline: The Islamic City Council of Tehran approved on Tuesday a measure that increases the costs of burial plots at Behesht-e Zahra, the largest cemetery in Iran located in southern Tehran.
As land is becoming scarce in the cemetery’s Phase-II where 95% of plots are full, the costs of each plot increased by 20% compared with the fiscal 2016-17 to reach 90 million rials ($2,093).
The prices of plots located in a more desirable section of the cemetery with more trees and easier access, Phase-I, have remained unchanged at 150 million rials ($3,488).
The burial plots of Phase III, which is located farther from Phase-II have been priced at 10 million rials ($232) until it becomes 70% full. After that, the plots will be sold for 45 million rials ($1,046),the Persian daily Donya-e-Eqtesad reported.
The endowment care, that is the annual maintenance fee of the burial plots, has been set at 6.5 million rials ($151), the average gravestone price is set at 1 million rials ($23.2), the gravestone preparation and installation fee is 1 million rials ($23.2) and the fee charged for keeping the body in the mortuary is 200,000 rials ($4.6) per day, according to Financial Tribune.
Between 150 and 200 people are buried at Behesht-e Zahra Cemetery every day. The organization admits 50,000 annually but for a variety of reasons, including the decision of relatives to bury the deceased in their native place, 35,000 are buried in the cemetery.
Over 22,000 of Tehran’s residents were buried in Behesht-e Zahra without charge last year (March 2017-18). The rate of service fees provided by this organization had remained unchanged since the fiscal 2011-12, except for the prices of burial plots of Phase-II.
In the early 1950s, all the cemeteries in Tehran were supposed to be replaced by several large new ones outside the then borders of the capital. Behesht-e Zahra was built in late 1960s on the southern side of Tehran and became operational in 1970. The first person buried in Behesht-e Zahra was Mohammad Taqi Khial.
Many of the deceased soldiers of Iran–Iraq War (1980-88) were buried in the martyr’s section of the graveyard. At present, over one million and five thousand have been buried in Behesht-e Zahra, according to the website of the organization.