S Kumararaja, President, Federation of Velachery Residents Association, said that after the crematorium shut for repairs, the residents have approached the local authorities to have it rectified. “For two months now, residents have been forced to use the crematorium in Division 179, on the Taramani Road, which is much smaller. This not only inconveniences the residents, who must travel a few kilometres more during the ritual, but also those living in the locality. The crematorium near Guru Nanak College (GNC) was a large area and situated in the busy thoroughfare but the one in Taramani is in a residential area. The increasing number of crematorium users at the latter ground has also inconvenienced the local residents,” he said, adding that a complaint has been lodged with the local MLA, who promised that the situation will be rectified within the next 15 days. “Since the crematorium was closed for the last two months, why do they need more time,” he queried.
The Velachery resident further added that there is only a single electric cremation furnace at the facility near GNC, which when closed for repairs, causes an inconvenience for the users. “There should be two such furnaces in the 3-acre facility, so that even when one is under repair, the second one could be functional. There is a shed, which can be used to cremate the body as it was done in the past. That is also not being used,” pointed out Kumararaja.
A Corporation official confirmed that the crematorium has been closed for maintenance repairs. On an average, the facility near GNC gets anywhere between three to four cases a day. The Corporation official added, “The electrical crematorium is under repair and the work has already started. We have received the representation from the residents and will ensure that the repairs are carried out at the earliest.”
The Greater Chennai Corporation operates 38 burial grounds across the city, as well as 22 gas-powered and eight electrical-powered crematoriums.