Madurai

Thathaneri cremation ground can do with some greenery

Lorries parked on the Vaigai embankment offThathaneri. Photo: G. Moorthy

Lorries parked on the Vaigai embankment offThathaneri. Photo: G. Moorthy  

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Vast unutilised area can be converted into a garden or park which will be useful for residents as well and minimise effects of pollution caused by burning corpses

The thickly populated Ward 9 of Madurai Corporation, which largely comprises Thathaneri, houses one of the largest cremation grounds in south Tamil Nadu.

Spread over 17 acres, the cremation ground has burial grounds as well as separate space for different religions and communities. A lot, however, needs to be done to improve its infrastructure, residents say.

While the cremation ground remains mostly barren, without much green cover, Councillor M. Dass suggests that a part of it can be converted into a park.

“There is a vast unutilised area which can be converted into a garden or park which will be useful for the residents as well and will minimise the effects of pollution caused by burning corpses,” he says.

Pointing to the gasifier crematorium at Moolakarai and electric crematoriums in Dindigul and Coimbatore where initiatives have been taken to spruce up the premises and plant saplings, he says that he has appealed to the corporation to tidy up the Thathaneri cremation ground.

While there are two electric crematoriums at Thathaneri, one of them is in disuse for the last few months. The councillor is unaware of the reason for the crematorium not functioning.

Bridges, road blocks

The Vaigai embankment road off Thathaneri has automobile workshops on one side, with vehicles occupying half the width of the road.

S. Raja, a resident living nearby, says that lorries and other heavy vehicles, which come to the workshops, remain parked on the road, endangering the movement of other vehicles, as the road is very narrow with the Vaigai river on the other side.

“We have been trying to keep the road clear to facilitate smooth movement of traffic. If the Vaigai bridge is connected properly to Kamarajapuram and the LIC bridge, it will benefit road users,” says Mr. Dass. A proposal to constructa bridge connecting Thathaneri and Arapalayam is in the works.

Though the ward does not experience water problem, the councillor and other corporation officials say that an overhead tank here, which has a capacity of around 20 lakh litres, is only half-filled every day. “The tank supplies water to four wards, including ward 9, and is the first tank to receive water from the Arasaradi pumping station. Apart from this, we have also been supplying water every alternate day through lorries as the tank is not filled to its capacity,” Mr. Dass says.

Neat hospital

The corporation hospital at Aruldosspuram presents a neat picture. The small building is located on a spacious premises, where the hospital staff maintain a garden.

“Nearly 200 persons visit the hospital daily and a majority of them are expectant mothers. Since this is a thickly-populated area, there is a constant stream of people throughout the day,” a nurse says.

“Despite the high number of women coming here for treatment, we are not authorised to undertake child delivery and expectant mothers are forced to go elsewhere,” she adds.

M. Jayachitra, a resident, says that while the hospital is accessible and helpful, it does not have scan facilities. “Most of the women visit the hospital for medical consultation and patients from neighbouring wards also come here,” she says.

Mr. Dass, who endorses her views, says that the empty space in the hospital can be utilised to construct another building to house scanners and a labour ward. “The corporation has been regularly supplying medicines to the hospital,” he adds.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 10:25:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/thathaneri-cremation-ground-can-do-with-some-greenery/article6675202.ece

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