Bodies accepted for cremation only when there is power supply

Even the dead are not spared of the ordeal inflicted by power cuts on various sections across Coimbatore.

Electric crematoriums need two hours of uninterrupted power supply for the furnace temperature to reach the specified level. Frequent and long hours of power cuts during the recent days bring down the temperature and hence, additional power is consumed to increase the temperature when the supply resumes. This delays the cremation.

On an average, three to five bodies are cremated every day. Now, the relatives are given time for cremation only when there is power supply. They are asked to use firewood or go to the other crematoriums in the city if there is no power, says the secretary of one of the electric crematoriums in Coimbatore.

Coimbatore has nine crematoriums. Almost all are operated and maintained by private institutions and industries. Three of these are biomass gasifier-based, three are LPG-based and another three are electric crematoriums. All the crematoriums have generator back-up for lighting and water pumping. The electric crematoriums should have 125 KVA generator sets to operate the furnace when there is no power.

The Coimbatore Corporation plans to convert the three electric crematoriums to gasifier-based ones soon.

Another area that is affected because of power cut is the collection of electricity consumption charges.

Palanisamy (name changed) visited the electricity bill payment counter at Sanganur, Coimbatore, for the last two days. He is unable to make the payment since the computerised facility at the counter does not function when power is not available. He had to leave the amount at the counter, requesting the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) official to make the entry when power was restored.

More In: Coimbatore