SALEM: Angry residents on Saturday sought to lock the entry gate to an electric crematorium run by the Salem municipal corporation in Maravaneri area, demanding that it be shifted to some other suitable place as the smoke and fly-ash from the burning pyres was polluting the residential neighbourhood.
The crematorium set up 13 years back in the heart of the steel town has been receiving a large number of bodies for cremation and the electric facility is being operated with the help of biogas.
The local residents complained that the crematorium was not only ill-maintained but the 100-ft tall chimney for driving out the smoke while burning bodies, was already thick with black soot, making the outlet dysfunctional. Thick smoke along with ash particles carried by winds was descending on neighbourhood homes, they said.
Urging the municipal corporation to main the crematorium properly, the residents also suggested that to avoid a large number of corpses being burnt at one place, the authorities could divert some of the bodies for cremation to other places in the town. This would help reduce the smoke pollution in Maravaneri.
To highlight these demands and express their protest, local area residents gathered near the crematorium this morning and attempted to lock its gates.
However, police on information rushed to the spot and persuaded the agitators to disperse peacefully, assuring them that their problems would be resolved once a new crematorium being constructed at Seelanaikkenpatti became functional.