The Chennai Corporation is planning to hand over maintenance of a few burial grounds in the city to non-governmental organisations, Mayor M.Subramanian said here on Saturday.
Addressing representatives of NGOs, he said the civic body was developing infrastructure at 10 such facilities at a total cost of Rs.5 crore.
“Work orders have been issued for developing Besant Nagar and GKM Colony burial grounds. The consultant will be giving designs for the other eight burial grounds soon.”
The Kannammapet burial ground is being maintained since 1992 by a private organisation.
“We are yet to decide on the modalities of allowing the NGOs to maintain other facilities. Based on their capabilities, the conditions would be worked out.”
To a query on whether freezer boxes and hearses, which are given free of cost by the Corporation to the public, would also be handed over to the NGOs, he said they would continue to be managed by the civic body.
Those seeking to avail the facilities need to call the 1913 helpline.
Mr. Subramanian said there were 183 burial ground assistants at the 38 facilities. “We are actually overstaffed and in the process of redeploying many of them to other departments,” he added.
Corporation sources said that despite the efforts aimed at improving the attitude of the staff at the burial grounds, there were complaints. “We want the NGOs to maintain the facilities with their own manpower. We want the infrastructure that we would be creating to be managed in a proper manner,” a senior official said.
Sahadevan, a medical practitioner who is part of a trust that maintains a modern burial ground in Erode, said managing the staff was an issue.
“We have sacked 30 employees for not adhering to rules in the last one and half years,” he explained.
Chennai Corporation Commissioner Rajesh Lakhoni and Corporation Deputy Commissioner (Health) P.Jyothi Nirmala spoke.