Telangana State Forest Development Corporation to provide 1,000 tonnes of firewood to cremation grounds for pyres of COVID victims

Published : May 05, 2021 13:31 IST

At the ESI cremation ground in Hyderabad. Photo: Serish Nanisetti

In Hyderabad and many towns in Telangana, as in most other States in the grip of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, cremation grounds are facing an acute shortage of firewood and kith and kin of the dead are finding it difficult to source firewood to light pyres.

In order to address this issue, the Telangana State Forest Development Corporation has decided to provide 1,000 tonnes of forest wood, costing around Rs.20 lakh to cremation grounds located across the State. The firewood will be offered free and it is hoped the measure will overcome the shortage.

V. Pratap Reddy, chairman of the Forest Development Corporation, made this announcement on May 4 and said the 1,000 tonnes of firewood would be made available to the cremation grounds after the corporation sells wood to paper mills. According to forest department officials, 3,500 tonnes of forest wood was available in Rangareddy division, 4,000 tonnes of wood in Khammam, Sattupalli, Aswaraopet and Bhadrachalam forest divisions, 860 tonnes in the Macherial and Kagaznagar divisions and 200 tonnes in the Warangal division. Those in need of the firewood would have to contact local municipal officials.

The rule of thumb is that around 1,500 kg of firewood is needed to cremate a body. And the firewood that is needed is usually Eucalyptus or Casuarina, or any wood with high calorific value. The type of wood also determines how long it takes for a body to be cremated, which is usually 5 to 8 hours.

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