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UP: Kin of the dead to watch cremation live on phone

Officials from the local administration held a meeting with villagers in the wake of deaths in over a month

AGRA: With crammed crematoriums and strict Covid protocols leaving little space for families to bid farewell to their loved ones, the management of Agra‘s only electric crematorium has now decided to livestream the funeral process.
Arrangements are being made to ensure families are able to at least watch the funeral on their mobile phones. A password with 30-minute validity will be issued and a team of software engineers are working to develop the set up, Tajganj crematorium caretakers said.
There are four furnaces for electric cremation at Tajganj at present. The compound has 16 CCTV cameras. Live CCTV footage can be viewed from the main office only, as of now.
On Friday, Tajganj crematorium in-charge Sanjeev Gupta said, “Families of the deceased are facing a tough time as they are unable to attend the funeral. So, we have planned to livestream the ceremony. A relative will be provided a password to view the last rite for 30 minutes. Engineers are working on it. Optical fibre is being laid at the crematorium. After successful implementation at the electric cremation facility, platforms for traditional wood cremation will be also covered.”
In wake of the second Covid wave, the number of bodies arriving at the crematorium has increased thrice in April. Earlier, 450 bodies were cremated in a month. The number was 1,700 last month.
A caretaker at the Tajganj crematorium said, “More cremations are taking place since the second week of April. Normally, 15 bodies are cremated here. But, in the last 24 hours, over 50 bodies have arrived. We have asked the family members of the deceased to wait as there is no vacant space as of now.”
The families are not even allowed to mourn at the cremation ground. They are asked to stand at a distance due to lack of space.
Moreover, cremations are usually avoided after sunset. But, the last rites are continuing round the clock. “The district administration has ordered night cremation due to the heavy workload,” the caretaker added.

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