KOCHI: An eco-friendly crematorium which will work on biogas and solar energy will be set up at the existing crematorium in Ravipuram. The inauguration of the work of the modernised crematorium will be held on June 5. Union Minister K V Thomas will inaugurate the work. As per the plan, the renovation work will be completed within six months. The Rotary Club Ernakulam is doing the renovation work at an estimated cost of Rs 1.5 crore. "As per the proposal, the renovated Ravipuram crematorium will be an eco-friendly one which will work on biogas and solar energy. The existing crematorium uses firewood for cremation," said Kochi Corporation Health Standing Committee chairman T K Ashraf.
The electric crematorium at Ravipuram was inaugurated in the late 90s but its functioning was frequently disrupted and finally came to a standstill in 2008. The electric connection to the crematorium was disconnected in 2009 as the civic body failed to pay the electricity bills due to KSEB. Later, the then Corporation renovated the crematorium. Instead of an electric crematorium, they went for the traditional firewood-based one. The electric furnace was an outdated one so the authorities were looking for other options to run the crematorium.
The high operational cost also made it difficult to start an electric crematorium. The new council under Mayor Tony Chammany in its annual budget had made provisions to renovate and modernise the existing crematoria. The council also decided to go for a public-private-partnership (PPP) method to renovate them. Later, a team led by Mayor Tony Chammany inspected the crematorium in Ravipuram and ordered for a renovation. "The gas for the furnaces will be produced from coconut, cashew shells, wood and other eco-friendly materials," said Ashraf.