The crematorium at Ravipuram is one of the eight such units managed by the Kochi Corporation in the city. The renovation and replacement of the electricity-powered furnace is being undertaken with the support of the Rotary Club of Cochin.

The LPG-fired crematorium at Ravipuram will become operational by September, if the works progress unhindered, said civic officials.

The crematorium at Ravipuram is one of the eight such units managed by the Kochi Corporation in the city. The renovation and replacement of the electricity-powered furnace is being undertaken with the support of the Rotary Club of Cochin. The proposal for replacing the existing furnace with an LPG-based one was considered in view of the efficiency of the new system, said Soumini Jain, the chairperson of the Works Standing Committee which is overseeing the implementation of the works.

The electricity-based one would take at least six hours to acquire the desired temperature level and the time required for getting it operational can cause delay in completing the funerals. In case of the LGP-based system, it would require less time and sits light on pocket. The Corporation is running the crematoria as a social service and not for profit, Ms. Jain said.

The renovation work was launched during the last week of March as part of the ‘Kochi First’ campaign of the civic body. The Corporation envisages joining hands with various agencies interested in the development of the city through the Kochi First programme. Officials of the Rotary Club had earlier stated that the there would be two-stage burning systems, a 30-metre-tall-chimmeny, scrubber and a generator back-up in the renovated crematorium. The crematorium premises will also be landscaped spending Rs. 60 lakh, according to the offer of the organisation.

The LPG-based system has been in use in different parts of the State and the club has selected an Andhra Pradesh-based firm. Even while installing the new system, the traditional one fuelled by firewood will continue as some people prefer the conventional way of funeral. The two systems would function simultaneously. The landscaping works will also begin shortly, she said.

All the eight crematoria in the city are managed and maintained by the Kochi Corporation using its funds from various heads. Though the Corporation Council had discussed various options for running them (including auctioning the rights to operate them), the discussions reached nowhere leaving the responsibility with the Corporation, said T.K. Ashraf, the chairman of the Health Standing Committee which is responsible for its management.

The crematoria are located at Ravipuram, Pulleppady, Pachalam, Wellingdon Island, Palluruthy, Fort Kochi Veli, Koovapadam and Edapally. There was also a proposal for handing over the responsibility to coordination committees of various Hindu organisations. That discussion too ended inconclusive, he pointed out.

Mr. Ashraf is of the personal view that the running of the crematoria should be entrusted with a coordination committees as it would help in observing the religious rituals properly. It’s the Kochi Corporation Council that has to make the call on the issue, he added.

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