Hyderabad: The Telangana State Forest Development Corporation’s (TSFDC) initiative to supply free firewood to crematoriums in and around Hyderabad on account of increasing Covid deaths has not drawn much of response from the urban local bodies (ULBs), especially GHMC.
The TSFDC had decided to provide 1,000 tonnes of wood to crematoriums, but so far, only 100 tonnes has been collected by some ULBs. “The decision to supply the wood was taken on the humanitarian grounds and to do our bit for society during the pandemic,” TSFDC Chairman Vanteru Pratap Reddy said.
There were reports in the media about increasing demand for wood in crematoriums due to increasing Covid deaths in the State, he said, adding that barring 10 municipalities, including Mancherial, Shamshabad, Satupalli, Paloncha, Warangal and others, not many ULBs had come forward to avail of the opportunity.
For procuring the firewood, the local sarpanch or the Municipal Commissioner has to put up an indent, following which the material would be supplied to them from the nearest forest division, TSFDC Vice-Chairman Chandrashekhar Reddy told ‘Telangana Today’. Since, the TSFDC does not have the required manpower or vehicles to transport the firewood, it had even sought the cooperation of lorry owners associations for the purpose.
“But the response has been lukewarm from municipalities for the initiative. We have even approached the Director, Municipal Administration, to share the details of the free firewood supply with ULBs and are hoping that they would make good use of the opportunity,” Chandrashekhar Reddy said.
The increasing demand for wood is badly affecting the poor who are finding it difficult to bear funeral costs.
The TSFDC takes up extensive plantation of saplings every year. It sells the wood to different paper mills, and the leftover stock is now being offered free to municipalities in and around Hyderabad. Still about 630 quintals of wood is available in Paloncha division, 1,078 quintals in Kothagudem division, 4,131 quintals in Sattupalli, 3,500 quintals in Ranga Reddy, 188 quintals in Warangal and about 860 quintals in Kagaznagar.
In Hyderabad, the wood would be supplied to Amberpet, Bansilalpet, Asifnagar and ESI crematoriums but surprisingly, no indent has been put up by the GHMC. TSFDC officials said the poor can approach local municipal officials for wood.
Now you can get handpicked stories from Telangana Today on Telegram everyday. Click the link to subscribe.