PHNOM Penh municipal authorities began demolition on Saturday the dilapidated crematorium at Wat Lanka, in the capital's Chamkarmon district, after discussions between officials from the Ministry of Cults and Religions and Non Nget, supreme patriarch of Buddhist monks in Cambodia.
Prum Somkhan, deputy governor of Chamkarmon district, said Sunday that the workers began dismantling the crematorium after meeting with monks, abbots and about 200 families who live near the Wat Lanka pagoda.
"We need to demolish it to protect the environment, improve human health and reduce traffic jams in the area," he said.
Traffic jams often occur as people walk the nearby roads on their march to cremations in the pagoda, Prum Somkhan said, and noxious smoke from human remains is a hazard for residents who live near the crematorium.
The demolition of Wat Lanka's crematorium comes just one month after city officials ordered the demolition of the crematorium at Wat Ounalom in Daun Penh district. After Wat Lanka, the city plans to demolish crematoriums at Wat Koh and Wat Preah Puth Mean Bon, said Kham Kimsou, deputy director of the Phnom Penh Department of Environment.