Hindu cemetery incinerator back in working order : Batu Lanchang

Resolving issue: A trial run of the repaired incinerator being conducted at the Hindu cemetery in Batu Lanchang.

Resolving issue: A trial run of the repaired incinerator being conducted at the Hindu cemetery in Batu Lanchang.

ONE of the two incinerators at the Batu Lanchang Hindu cemetery in Penang has been repaired and is functioning again.

Penang Hindu Endowment Board (PHEB) chairman Dr P. Ramasamy said it was repaired under the first phase of works carried out to resolve the issues at the cemetery since the board assumed direct management of the place in Octo-ber.

He said it cost RM70,000 to repair and modify the incinerator as well as train technicians to operate it.

He said the other incinerator was, however, broken beyond repair and would be replaced in phase two which would begin this week.

The estimated cost is between RM1.5mil to RM2mil.

“The second phase will cover the cost of a new incinerator and other works in the cemetery, including landscaping and upgrading of the building where traditional cremations using firewood is carried out,” he said.

“Previously the cemetery’s management was outsourced to third parties and it was poorly managed.

“This resulted in various issues including the incinerators breaking down as the operators were unskilled,” Ramasamy said.

He was attending a trial run of the repaired incinerator yesterday where 80kg of potatoes were burned.

He said he had invited various Indian community non-governmental organisations to see the incinerator’s first operation but none showed up.

He said he was glad that one of the incinerators was finally working and it would be open for use from today.

The other incinerator which is broken beyond repair has not been functioning for a few years while the one repaired had broken down in August this year.

Ramasamy, who is also the Penang Deputy Chief Minister II, said the PHEB would use its RM1mil allocation from the state government and RM40,000 monthly income from its property to fund the various works it was carrying out at the cemetery and crematorium.

He also said the PHEB had set up an advisory committee to look into issues at the cemetery.

Families who wish to use the incinerator for funerals will need to first approach the PHEB office at 225, Jalan Macalister, or call 04-2262593.

Source: The Star