Gas furnaces readied at Shantikavadam

Average number of cremations per day has gone up in recent days

The city Corporation had readied two gas furnaces at the Shanthikavadam electric crematorium located near Thycaud at a time when there is an increase in load at the crematorium due to COVID-19-related deaths.

The work on the two gas furnaces at Shanthikavadam began last year after the COVID-19 outbreak, when the Corporation realised that there is a strain on the existing facilities.

“We carried out the testing of the gas furnaces on Thursday. From today, it is being used for cremating COVID-19 patients,” said a Health official of the Corporation.

Along with the two gas furnaces, the Shanthikavadam facility now has two electric furnaces and two wood-based ones. According to Health officials, the gas furnaces and electric furnaces will be put to use exclusively for cremating COVID-19 patients during the pandemic period.

“The average number of bodies being cremated at Shanthikavadam per day has gone up in recent days. Although the numbers are still manageable, there is certainly a huge load on the system. So, for the time being, we have set aside the electric and gas furnaces just for cremating those who died due to COVID-19 bodies, while using wood-based furnaces for the others,” said the Health official.

Some of the crematoriums that have come up in other regions in recent years have opted for LPG furnaces, prompting the Corporation too to choose it while increasing the number of furnaces. In addition to dead bodies from within the city, quite a few panchayats in the surrounding regions are also depending upon the electric crematorium here.

After the pandemic outbreak last year, the civic body had also appointed two charge officers permanently at Shanthikavadam to streamline its functioning, in addition to the regular staff. Two junior Health inspectors work as charge officers. Before this, the contractors used to handle much of the work here. An online system has also been implemented for reserving the furnaces through the Smart Trivandrum mobile application and web portal.

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