Ramakanta Biswas

Puri: The development works of Swargadwar cremation ground in the pilgrim town of Puri commenced on Thursday following the ground-breaking ceremony or Bhoomi Pujan in the presence of district collector Balwant Singh.

Various infrastructures and amenities will be developed at Swargadwar which is the most sought-after place for people to perform the last rites of their family members. The cremation ground will be developed on the lines of Mahaprasthanam crematorium in Andhra Pradesh.

In the first phase, as many as 14 graveyards or pyres would be set up which can cremate 14 bodies at a time. The construction works will be completed in three months, sources said.

In the second phase, worship podiums for priests, bathrooms, toilets and restroom for relatives of people coming to cremate bodies will be developed. If needed, eviction will be carried out in coming days, sources added.

"About 14 graveyards or pyres will be built for cremation of 14 bodies at a time. In the first phase, facilities for conduct of rituals will be developed to ensure that people will not face any difficulties. In the second phase, other amenities will be developed," district collector Balwant Singh said.

Shankaracharya of Gobardhan Mutt welcomed the move of the district administration.

Notably, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had sanctioned Rs 5 crore in the first phase to take up extensive developmental works at the Swargadwar crematorium. Under the plan, a detailed makeover of the boundary of the crematorium, beautification of the entrance gate, restroom for the pallbearers, elevated platforms for cremation of bodies, facilities for collection and conservation of mortal remains besides afforestation have been proposed to be taken up at the crematorium. Apart from this, steps will be taken to ensure cremation during rainy days.


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