ABOUT 18,000 graves in Choa Chu Kang Cemetery will be the first batch to be exhumed under a government policy that limits the age of graves to no more than 15 years.
These graves, of Christians and Hindus buried between 1946 and 1961, will be exhumed individually from Nov 1 next year.
The remains will be cremated and the ashes put in state columbaria.
Ashes from unclaimed graves will be kept for three years to give relatives enough time to claim them and perform their own rites before they are scattered at sea.
The process is expected to take three years. Two other three-year exhumation exercises will follow, to clear cemetery graves that are more than 15 years old.
Without the 15-year policy, first announced in 1998, Singapore will eventually run out of graveyard space. The Straits Times/Asia News Network