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Officials visit electric crematorium

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A local policeman stands in front of the new electric crematorium installed at Wat Russey Sanh on Thursday.

PHNOM Penh Governor Kep Chuktema said Thursday that construction of a new electric crematorium in Dangkor district, part of an effort to shift cremations out of the city centre, was 80 percent complete.

Following a visit to the site with officials from the Ministry of Cults and Religions, Kep Chuktema said the crematorium itself was finished, but that "infrastructure" - including a garden, a water system, restrooms and fences - was not.

The visit Thursday came less than two weeks after municipal authorities began demolition of the dilapidated crematorium at Wat Lanka, in the capital's Chamkarmon district. Officials have also recently ordered the demolition of the crematorium at Wat Ounalom in Daun Penh district.

Kep Chuktema said the decision to shift cremations towards the outskirts of the capital would "protect the environment as well as the health of the people in the city".

Ma Theary, the chief monk at Wat Russey Sanh, where the new crematorium is located, said he did not know when the site would be ready. He seconded Kep Chuktema's opinion that the new crematorium would have less of an impact on the environment, adding that the site also had plenty of parking.

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