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RTI Activist challenges Illegal Cremation Fee Collection

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By Janaki Ballabh Dash: A veteran social worker and RTI activist has filed a petition challenging the illegal cremation fee collection by a non-Odia businessman. The Permanent Lok Adalat has issued notice after getting the complaint and registered a Case – 98/2012. It is learnt that s the businessman has been collecting the cremation fee to the tune of hundreds of rupees from those coming to cremate their dead ones.

CremationThe matter was earlier raised before the Lokpal, which last year directed the District Collector & Tahasildar to set up a round the clock counter for collection of necessary cremation fee from those coming to Barunighat Smashan within four weeks, but the district authorities have failed to comply with the order.

The issue was finally taken up by senior citizen Ramesh Meher, who demanded the immediate setting up of such a counter and moved the PLA. Since neither the Municipality nor the District Administration have issued a tender for the cremation fee collection, the vested interests are taking advantage of the situation.

According to the complaints filed before the Permanent Lok Adalat, Mayurbhanj, the businessman is even charging up to Rs 1,000 from people. The PLA has served legal notices to the District Administration and fixed the next hearing of this case for December 12.

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