Move planned for Babaoshan crematory

By Yin Yeping Source:Global Times Published: 2012-10-14 23:25:05


A woman sits at Babaoshan Cemetery in Shijingshan district. Photo: Li Hao/GT
A woman sits at Babaoshan Cemetery in Shijingshan district. Photo: Li Hao/GT

Beijing funeral and interment authority said Sunday that all the crematory infrastructure of Babaoshan Cemetery in Shijingshan district will be moved to Mentougou district within the next five years and a revolutionary educational center would be built in its place.  

The urns of the deceased would still be transferred back to the original Babaoshan Cemetery.

Huang Qiaoquan, the media officer of Beijing Municipal Funeral and Interment Bureau, told the Global Times that the crematorium will move to Wolonggang village in Mentougou, so a revolutionary educational center could be built, and to offer more space for other uses, such as urban development.

"But there have been some changes to the plan, so the construction has been suspended for now," he said, not specifying what the changes are.

Huang said that the project has little to do with environmental protection, since there are filters and detectors on chimneys to purify and inspect the standard of the burning smoke before it is released into the atmosphere. 

"Where and how it would be moved is still uncertain," he said, "it's a very complicated project."

Beijing has 33 cemeteries, according to a Beijing News report in November 2006.

Babaoshan, the best known of the city's cemeteries, has two sections, one for ordinary people, and the other for those who have made important contributions to the development of China during their lifetime.    

Tao Ran, a 28 year old Beijinger, said her grandfather, surnamed Wang, a former general who had fought in the War of Liberation (1945-49) and the Korean War (1950-53), was cremated and placed at the "Revolution Wall," a long wall where cremation urns of top revolutionary army leaders of the Communist Party of China are put. 

"It might not be convenient for setting up funerals for the family of the deceased," she said. Tao noted that she suspects that this project would be yet another "red" revolutionary tour that might have more of an economic than an educational value.

A local resident named Liu Yan said she has reservations over the project.

"It's good to move the crematory out of the area since it somewhat has an impact on the environment," she said.

But she added that she is not sure if anyone would be interested in going to a cemetery for educational purposes.

"I'm not saying it's not good to build an educational facility, but it would be a bit scary to me because of its location," she said.

An employee from the Babaoshan crematory, who would not give his name,  said that as the crematory is exceedingly busy, it would be a huge project if it were to be moved elsewhere. However, he had not yet heard any final confirmation of the move, the employee said.

Posted in: Society, Metro Beijing

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