Nearly 100,000 tombs will be moved from Ho Chi Minh City's largest cemetery to outskirt districts so as to use the prime land for development, and to prevent groundwater pollution in the area.
The city administration has asked its Department of Natural Resources and Environment and the Department of Justice to draft a decision stopping burials at the 60-hectare Binh Hung Hoa cemetery in Binh Tan District from this month.
Once the tombs are removed, the cemetery will be built up into a new residential area.
Local authorities said that the cemetery has become overloaded and the graves are contaminating underground water, the only source of water for local residents.
Smoke from the cemetery's incinerator that cremates hundreds of bodies a day has also severely affected local life, they said.
The tombs will be moved to cemeteries in Binh Chanh and Cu Chi districts in the city's outskirts as well as in Dong Nai Province that neighbors HCMC.
HCMC agencies are also considering a location for the new crematorium to replace the one at Binh Hung Hoa, which is the biggest in the southern region.