A ‘park’ developed at KRM Colony, Maddilapalem, is catching the attention of passers-by. Lush green trees, lawns with ornamental plants, idols of Lord Shiva and Satya Harischandra adorn the garden.

A big compound wall with a gateway, that has an aesthetically designed arch, with an idol of Lord Shiva in the centre, makes one wonder what the park is.

Aptly named ‘Shantivanam’, it is designed to give a decent place for the kin of the dead to perform the last rites of their near and dear ones in peace.

“A few years ago, the burial ground at KRM Colony had unrestrained growth of shrubs and palm trees, and there were hardly any amenities to perform the last rites for the dead. Three years ago, Mavuri Satyanarayana (Baba), father of MD of CMR Group Mavuri Venkata Ramana, had died and was cremated there,” recalls A. Venugopal Reddy.

Mr. Reddy suggested to Mr. M.V. Ramana that the ground could be developed as a garden with basic amenities and the latter readily agreed to fund the project.

“The 30-odd palm trees in the compound were felled and a garden was developed with other trees and ornamental plants. A gallery, with pillars and a concrete slab, where about 500 people can sit, three rooms, three bathrooms with taps, and a room for storage of firewood have all been developed,” says Mr. Reddy.

Three cast iron frames have been erected for cremation of bodies. About Rs.40 lakh was spent on the development. The idol of Lord Shiva, the arches, lawns and gardens present a serene atmosphere. “Some persons from Hyderabad, who came recently, were all praise for the amenities developed at the cremation ground,” he recalls. Mr. Venkata Ramana had also offered to the VMC to fund the salary of the watchman. He also agreed to provide firewood free to the poor who are not in a position to pay for it.

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