The modernisation of the crematorium in Palakole had hit a roadblock as workers were too scared to enter the premises and work there.

Why an Andhra Pradesh MLA ate bathed and spent two nights in a crematoriumImages : Facebook/Dr Nimmala Rama Naidu
news Politics Monday, June 25, 2018 - 17:09

In a bid to help workers renovating a crematorium feel more secure, Dr Nimmala Ramanaidu, a TDP MLA from Andhra Pradesh’s Palakole constituency, slept, ate and even took a bath in the crematorium.

The project to modernise the crematorium had seen many delays as the workers were too scared to enter the premises in the midst of the regular funerals that took place there.

“I am reviewing and inspecting all the developmental projects in Palakole, in a bid to ensure that the work is completed in a timely manner,” the MLA told local media channels.

The crematorium had been lying abandoned for several years, and locals had asked for it to be re-developed.

“One such project is the modernisation of the crematorium, which we hoped to do in a speedy manner,” he added.

However, the workers, on seeing a partially burnt body, refused to enter and work, fearing “ghosts and spirits”.

“I decided to sleep in the crematorium in order to instill bravery and confidence among the workers, so that they wonder what is their problem if an MLA himself is staying there,” Nimmala said.

So last Friday and Saturday,  Nimmala ate his dinner at the crematorium, before retiring to a bed in the middle of the crematorium, kept out in the open save for a mosquito net.

In the morning, he woke up and took a bath, before settling down for breakfast. He reportedly saw over 50 workers coming in to work the next day.

“The crematorium was in such poor condition that people could not even stay inside for a few minutes,” Nimmala told the media.

Last year, the state government sanctioned Rs 3 crore to construct a new crematorium. However, despite the government’s efforts, contractors refused to take up the project.

Officials finally found a contractor a few weeks ago, however, workers refused to work fearing “spirits”.

Now, after the MLA slept in the crematorium, local media reports suggest that work has progressed considerably.

The MLA received praise from several quarters, including from Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.


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