People from far off places such as Piravom, Mulanthuruthy, Vaikom and Poothota, and the municipal area and its surroundings depend on the crematorium in Tripunithura.

Various social organisations on Thursday held a torch-lit march to the Statue junction demanding the reopening of the old crematorium in Tripunithura.

The municipality has opened a modern gas-based crematorium. But the demonstrators said one crematorium was not sufficient because of the increasing number of cremations. People from far off places such as Piravom, Mulanthuruthy, Vaikom and Poothota, and the municipal area and its surroundings depend on the crematorium in Tripunithura. The demonstrators pointed out that there had been days when cremations had to be postponed because of the lack of facilities at the crematorium. This forced people to find a mortuary to keep the body in the night and increased the expenses, they said.

They said the fee at the crematorium had also been doubled. But the facilities have not improved, they added. The rate at the old crematorium was Rs.1,500.

The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh also organised a march, Savamanja Yatra, to the municipal chairman R. Venugopal’s house raising the issue. The police stopped the activists before they reached the chairman’s house.

Mr. Venugopal told The Hindu that the root cause of the problem was the timing of cremations. According to him people were fixing the time on their own. They have been asked to inform the municipality in advance about the cremation so that time slots could be provided, he added. He also said that the timings of the crematorium had been increased. The crematorium now functions from 8 a.m. to 12 midnight. Earlier the schedule was from 10 a.m.- to 6 p.m.

The fee has gone up by Rs.1,000 as the gas costs just over Rs.2,000 for one cremation, said the chairman.

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