THE Phnom Penh Municipality will build
four electronic crematoria, including one with VIP facilities, to
reduce air pollution that government officials fear could affect the
country's tourism industry, Governor Kep Chuktema told the Post
The first new facility is being built on four hectares of
land near the Prey Sar pagoda in Dangkor district. It is expected to
begin operations in the next few months.
Three additional facilities will be built in Prek Leap, Russey Keo
and Phnom Penh Thmey at about US$500,000 each, which will be paid for
by the municipality, Kep Chuktema said.
"We hope that [they] will reduce air pollution and have a positive
social benefit by allowing poor people access to cremation services
free of charge," he said.
The municipality will also purchase two vans to transport corpses to the new sites, he said.
Kim Seam, secretary of state for the Ministry of Environment, said the
crematoria are being relocated outside the city because air pollution
affects residents living in and near pagodas.
"The smoke ... affects the surrounding citizens and the students studying there," he said.
He said the electronic facilities will also reduce reliance on wood.
Houy Sam Sereychan, bureau chief of Communicable Disease Control at
the Municipal Health Department, said about 1,300 corpses are cremated
each year in Phnom Penh.