GUWAHATI, July 14: The Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) inaugurated the city’s first electric crematorium for Covid-19 victims in Ulubari on Monday. The facility will be able to cremate two bodies simultaneously, which will be enhanced to four in the days to come.
“The health department had informed us that they were facing many difficulties when it came to cremating bodies of Covid-19 victims. Following this, we decided to make this crematorium operational,” Guwahati development department (GDD) minister Siddhartha Bhattacharya said.
Built at an estimated cost of Rs 5.09 crore, the crematorium’s parking place is yet to be completed.
According to GDD officials, there was a provision of electric cremation at the Bhutnath crematorium in Guwahati earlier. However, due to technical glitches, its operations stopped long ago. Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) commissioner Devajyoti Hazarika said till recently, the Nabagraha crematorium was the only one in the city to have environment-friendly substitutes to conventional cremations. He added that the gas-based cremation option in Nabagraha is still there but is not preferred by many.
Electric and gas-based cremations have not been very popular in Guwahati as most families prefer a conventional pyre from where they can collect the ashes. However, Hazarika said the new set of equipments installed at the Ulubari crematorium will not hurt any religious sentiments as there are provisions of handing over ashes to the families of the deceased.
“It’s a scientific and hygienic mode of cremation. In this modern and 100% pollution-free system, the cremation process will be completed in 40 minutes. It is cost-friendly as well. During such times, it will be very useful and we hope people accept it,” he said.
Speaking about the costs, he added, “It would approximately cost Rs 6,000 to cremate a body in the electric crematorium, which is almost equivalent to the cost of cremating a body the conventional way. (TNN)