Government reduces distance to residential area

The government decision to reduce the mandatory distance between a residential area and a crematorium from 50 m to 25 m has revived the hopes of Nedumangad municipality in fructifying the long-pending demand of residents to have a modern crematorium in their locality.

Attempts by the civic body to construct a gas-fired crematorium in 21 cents of land at Kallambara near the Killiyar did not materialise after residents of the housing board colony put a spanner in the construction plan citing that the mandatory requirement of 50 metre distance was not fulfilled in establishing the crematorium.

The planned site was little less than 50 m, said an official adding that the opposition to the construction came after the State Pollution Control Board gave its approval and construction of an approach road to the site.

On a petition filed by a resident of the housing board colony, the Munsiff Court at Nedumangad stayed the construction activities, an official with the civic body told The Hindu.

As final rites with dignity for the dead continue to elude, anger among people of Nedumangad grew and the civic body was flooded with representations for an early solution.

Uproar in Assembly

In November last year, the government issued a notification bringing down the required distance between a crematorium and a residential area to 25 m giving room for the civic body to approach the court seeking a revision of the stay order, the official said.

“The government took the decision after there was uproar in the State Assembly over reports of people cremating dead bodies within the precincts of their house. This compelled the government to amend the Kerala Municipality Act, 1994 and bring down the mandatory distance to 25 m. A petition has been filed in the District Court to vacate the stay,” the official said.

In view of the government notification, the civic body passed a resolution to establish a modern crematorium and set aside Rs.50 lakh in the current year’s budget for its construction, the official added.