Crematorium staff says that nearly 300 kilos of firewood is necessary to cremate a body and the process takes 90–120 minutes. If the inflow of bodies continues, there will be a shortage of firewood and it will take longer to cremate bodies, they worry.
A new electric crematorium will add to the capacity of Vizag’s main Gnanapuram crematorium as bodies of Covid-dead pile up.
The Gnanapuram crematorium has been witnessing a rush over the last week. While the crematorium would usually see 10–15 bodies a day, now it has been receiving around 40 per day on average. People from other states who underwent treatment here but then passed away are also being cremated here. In the absence of an electric crematorium, bodies are being cremated with firewood.
Crematorium staff say that nearly 300 kilos of firewood is necessary to cremate a body and the process takes 90–120 minutes. If the inflow of bodies continues, there will be a shortage of firewood and it will take longer to cremate bodies, they worry.
Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) commissioner G Srijana said that the civic body has already set up the electric crematorium and a trial run was held Monday. If all goes according to plan, the facility will start operating from Tuesday, she said.
GVMC has spent over Rs 60 lakh to set up the crematorium. Once operational, it is expected to be able to cremate at least 15 bodies a day. Electric crematoriums are cheaper, faster, simpler and pollution-free compared to the firewood method.
GVMC officials said that an electric crematorium was launched in the city around two decades ago. Maintenance of the crematorium was then handed over to a private agency. But it gradually fell into disuse.
With the sudden rise in deaths and long waiting hours, the electric crematorium has gained in importance. Meanwhile, the state government has restricted the number of people allowed to take part in final rites to 20.
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