A much delayed project to put up a crematorium here is expected to be commissioned shortly.

Speaking to The Hindu here on Friday, the Municipal Engineer B. Ramamoorthy said that work on constructing the crematorium at the Mink Shola burial ground near here was over. While Rupees fifty-five lakhs had been spent to put up the crematorium, waiting hall etc., a sum of Rupees 15 lakhs had been spent on laying a road to the facility. Work would begin soon on providing a compound wall at a cost of Rupees 20 lakhs.

Stating that preliminary tests have been carried out, he said that the Government Headquarters hospital here has been requested to assist in checking the efficacy of the equipments installed.

Owing to the peculiar weather conditions here, the government sponsored project was both wood and LPG based.

The crematorium will be maintained by the Rotary Club of Ootacamund. An agreement to this effect has already been signed by the municipality and the club.

Describing it as a long felt need of this ecologically sensitive hill station, the former Chairman of the Udhagamandalam Municipal Council R. Rajendran said that work on putting up the project had been going on for the past about two years.

Adverting to the growing dependence on such facilities, he said that a study had revealed that during 2010 about fifty percent of the bodies taken to the crematorium at Wellington near here were from Ooty and nearby areas.

Pointing out that to a significant extent it would reduce pressure on the forests, he said that of late people have been finding it difficult to meet the cost of cremation.

The pressure on space was also increasing. The common and community burial grounds which had come into being several decades ago here to cater to the requirements of a small population were almost full. Fire wood which was available in plenty until a couple of decades ago was now not only scarce but also very expensive.

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