Sunday, May 19, 2013
Last Updated: 19 May 10:23 AM IST
18 January 2010
KOLKATA, 18 JAN: An electric crematorium, situated on the banks of the Hooghly at Chitragunj under ward no one, is closed for the past eight months. Inaugurated by Mr Asok Bhattacharya, the urban development and municipal affairs minister of the state, the crematorium was constructed at a cost of Rs one crore, sanctioned under the Ganga Action Plan.
Sources said, two years after its inauguration, some technical problems forced the crematorium's closure. Local residents have in the process been worst-hit. They usually have to shell out a lot as the bodies are being burnt on open pyres.
Mr Himanshu Jana, the former chairman of the civic body, said ashes were dumped in the river resulting in water pollution.
The citizens also alleged that the area near the crematorium has become a favourite with goons with the mushrooming of satta dens and unlicensed liquor outlets. Mr Goutam Dasgupta, a resident of the municipality, said the crematorium was closed due to lack of maintenance. Mr Dipendu Mitra, a councillor, too, blamed callousness on the part of the civic body for the closure of the crematorium, a charge denied by CPI(M)-led Budge-Budge civic body officials.
The chairman of the civic body, Mr Bhulukanti Sarkat, said since the maintenance work of the crematorium is carried out by a KMDA appointed contract firm, they had no role in it. “The delay in the maintenance has been attributed to the non-availability of equipment needed for the same” he said.