Sambalpur crematorium faces shortage of firewood | Bhubaneswar News timesofindia.indiatimes.com

timesofindia.indiatimes.com

SAMBALPUR: Scarcity of firewood for cremation at Rajghat – the most prominent crematorium of the city – has emerged as a concern for the Sambalpur Municipal Corporation (SMC), prompting it to write to the Odisha Forest Development Corporation (OFDC).
The enforcement officer of the SMC, Subhankar Mohanty, said at least 10 bodies were cremated at Rajghat daily. “For the past few days, we have been facing a severe shortage of firewood. There is no wood in the OFDC depot,” he said.
Official sources said around 40 to 50 quintals of firewood were required for the cremation of bodies at Rajghat daily. With the current shortage of fuel, the families of the dead are being forced to purchase firewood from private suppliers at high rates. While the SMC provides a quintal of firewood for Rs 350, private suppliers sell the same for Rs 500. The city’s only electric crematorium – also at Rajghat – has been lying defunct for over nine months now.
Mohanty said the SMC had procured firewood from Jharsuguda to tide over the crisis. “But this is a temporary solution. We have written to the OFDC for more firewood,” he said. He also said the electric crematorium was being repaired and would be functional by the next one month.
Divisional forest officer (DFO), Sambalpur, Sanjeet Kumar said the OFDC sold firewood through global tender. “Somebody might have procured all the firewood from the OFDC depot at Sambalpur through the global tender and, as a result, the depot may have failed to provide firewood to the SMC. I have asked the OFDC officials to provide me with data on the procurement of firewood. I will analyse it to find the quantity of firewood required for cremation here. After the analysis, we will ask the OFDC officials to set aside a certain quantity of firewood for cremation,” said Kumar.



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