Hyderabad: Given the cleanliness, facilities provided and greenery, many at first would mistake them for a park or recreation facility but only when one steps in do they realise that it is a crematorium, also known as Vaikuntadhamams.
The State government’s effort to help people cremate their loved ones in a decent ambience with all required facilities led to taking up construction of Vaikuntadhamams in every village across the State.
Telangana is the only State in the country where almost all gram panchayats have new Vaikuntadhamams. Of the 12,750 sanctioned, 10,184 have already been constructed and the remaining will be completed by this month end, a senior official from Panchayat Raj Department told Telangana Today. A brainchild of Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, at least one Vaikuntadhamams is set up in every gram panchayat in the State.
As per the Chief Minister’s directions, officials are executing the project at a brisk pace. The entire project is being taken up at a cost of about Rs 1,554 crore. The Vaikuntadhamams are being constructed with all the basic components like cremation platforms, waiting rooms, water facility and toilets, among other amenities. Cleanliness and greenery are being accorded top priority at these places, the official said.
Earlier, in the absence of designated places, people used to cremate bodies in open spaces some distance away from the villages. This apart, at times, there used to be controversies over the location for cremation. To address all these issues, the State government decided to construct Vaikuntadhamams in all gram panchayats limits, the official said.
In places where Mission Bhagiratha pipelines pass close by, water connections are being provided through these lines and in other locations, permissions are being given to dig borewells, the official said. Depending on the size of the gram panchayat, a minimum of half an acre of land is being allocated for constructing Vaikuntadhamam.
Among all the districts, Sangareddy tops with 647 Vaikuntadhamams in each of its 647 gram panchayats. Khammam district has constructed 557 Vaikuntadhamams and Nizamabad has 518 such facilities. The maintenance of the facilities at these places is being handled by the respective gram panchayats. They are permitted to provide more facilities, if any individual or organisation comes forward to donate for the same.
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