Tiruchi crematoria in a shambles

Lack of maintenance causes inconvenience to users at Oyamari and Konakkarai crematoria

The Oyamari and Konakkarai crematoria lie in a sorry state due to poor maintenance. While the infrastructure at Oyamari is yet to improve, the grounds around the crematorium in Konakarai is full of garbage. People who visit the grounds to lay their kin to rest are put off by the maintenance.

The Oyamari crematorium complex, where a large percentage of COVID-19 deaths were cremated over the last year, lacks proper toilet, bath facility or seating area. So, many go to the nearby bathing ghat to take bath and perform rituals, a worker said. The Tiruchi Corporation drew up a plan to hand over the operations of the facility to a trust. However, it was opposed by a section of city residents. “We have floated tenders for construction of a toilet complex. Work will begin soon,” a corporation official said.

The burial ground at Konakkarai is an eyesore – garbage is strewn the approach path and all over the place. Cattle and pigs rummage through the garbage in search of food. Sanitary workers employed at the micro composting yard located within the same compound dump a large amount of that waste. “We have not been given a separate place to dump the non-biodegradable waste. We use biodegradable waste to make compost but throw out plastic bags, cloth and other waste,” a worker said.

Speaking to The Hindu, K. Suresh, city secretary of Communist Party of India, said that the civic body must improve the facilities. Burial grounds and crematoria in other cities such as Chennai have been revamped to provide a calm and peaceful environment. “It is the least that we can do for the grieving. They need a clean environment, while also providing basic infrastructure like a waiting room, restrooms etc.,” he said.

Mr. Suresh added that the Minister of Municipal Administration must take note of this and allot funds for cleaning and maintenance. “Especially over the last year, there have been several untimely deaths. With COVID-19 still prevalent, we need to keep these facilities ready,” he added.

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