The state government has submitted before the Kerala High Court that it is the responsibility of the respective local bodies to set up crematoriums at the local level. The government made the submission on suo motu proceedings initiated on two petitions in this regard.
“Of the 27 mandatory functions prescribed for the grama panchayats and 30 functions assigned for municipalities, item no: 18 refers to the establishment and maintenance of burial and burning ground,” the government submitted.
The state government further submitted that it had made budgetary allocation to set up crematoriums in each panchayat. “Funds were allotted in budgets during successive years. During 2010-11 to 2013-14 a total amount of `20 crore has been allocated. However, even after budget allocation and financial assistance, only 43 panchayats could set up the facility since 28-5-2010,” the government submitted.
The government further submitted that it had proposed a project to convert the existing crematoriums in panchayats to gas-based ones with the participation of local bodies. Each panchayat will be allocated `20 lakh under the project,the government submitted.