Where power cuts do not affect electronic crematoriums

Bangalore: It is nothing but absolute relief that the dead are spared off the vagaries of truant power in the City. For, all the electric crematoria in the capital are equipped with back-up power to ensure smooth passage of the departed to their ‘abode.’

The ten crematoria run by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) are all equipped with a generator for each electric furnace.

With the number of people increasingly preferring electric furnace over firewood for cremation, the BBMP decided not to rely on erratic power supply and installed diesel generators for all the furnaces. What was decided as a mere back-up for the power supply has now become a crucial necessity, as these places like others have to grapple with power cuts every other hour.

It requires at least 90 minutes for a body to be burnt completely with temperatures reaching over 1,000 degrees. This adds up to 200 litres of diesel every month to keep the heat at furnaces, continuously. Each crematorium, on an average receives six to eight bodies per day.

Funeral service companies offer ice box, essentially a glass encased box with ice packets at the bottom to keep the body at a specific temperature and prevent decomposition.

These ice boxes are run with electricity and the present unscheduled power cuts are spelling trouble for people who need to use the boxes.

Thus, ice boxes are now being plugged into generators. However, generators are not always available and if so, cost double the ice box.

A spokesperson at Kumar and Company said they have been providing generators for these boxes in the wake of power cuts. “We charge Rs 1,600 for the box and Rs 1,500 for the generators for 24 hours,” he said.

However, even money cannot help people given the demand for generators. The spokesperson said they were unable to provide generators all the times, as the demand exceeds the supply.