CHENNAI: If everything goes as planned, a crematorium in the city will have a butterfly park among other facilities.
“We have planted about 44 trees that attract butterflies, and soon, more wild shrubs will be planted inside the Velankadu burial ground premises. Once we ensure that these flora attract butterflies as is believed, the facility will be inaugurated officially,” AJ Hariharan, secretary, Indian Community Welfare Organisation (ICWO), told Express.
The Corporation of Chennai had handed over the maintenance work at the burial ground to the city-based Non Government Organisation (NGO) about six months ago.
According to Hariharan, there are plans to construct separate toilets for men and women, a meditation hall, a room for tonsuring and storage space for firewood among other facilities.
“We have ensured that the premises is brightly lit and also installed two Closed Circuit Television cameras to address the safety concerns,” he added. The NGO was planning to modernise the burial ground, improve the living condition of the staff there and also those earning a living from burial grounds, like flower decorators, mortuary van operators and others, Hariharan said.
“We have handed over the administration work to women. Once we succeed in this model, other private partners can replicate it in other burial grounds,” he added.
This initiative of the Chennai Corporation to maintain all the burial grounds in the city, is also to address concerns that the staff are not taking enough efforts to keep the premises clean.
A portion of the maintenance cost will be reimbursed to the NGO by the civic body.
On Monday, the organisation held a special sports meet for those working at crematoriums in the city.