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     FrontPage Edition: Mon 7 May 2007

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New Burial System using concrete crypts for all burials



System has added space saving features over conventional soil burial method

The New Burial System (NBS) introduced in 2002 for the re-internment of exhumed remains from the Bidadari Cemetery will now be extended to all burials from the end of this month.
The system will first be implemented in the Muslim Cemetery end of May. This will be followed by the Chinese Cemetery in August, Christian and Lawn Cemeteries in October, and Hindu Cemetery in December.
The NBS is an improvement to the present soil burial system. The NBS uses concrete walls in place of traditional earth walls, assuring the stability of the sidewalls during and after the burial process[1].
Soil burials can also be muddy particularly when it rains, impeding the burial process and access to the site. With the NBS, these problems will cease to exist, and next-of-kin can visit year round hassle-free.
The NBS also brings with it space savings. In land scarce Singapore, there is limited land for burial. There is thus a need to maximise the land allocated so that there will be enough space for burials to continue.
In the present soil burial system, an earth wall, 1.5 ft thick, is required in between graves to prevent them from sinking or shifting due to soil erosion or bad weather.
With the NBS, these earth walls are replaced with thinner concrete walls. This will allow 240 more plots per hectare or 15% more graves compared to the current system. (Under the present soil burial system, the plot density is 1670 plots/ha.)
The more compact NBS, together with the 15-year burial policy, will allow the Choa Chu Kang Cemetery to last up to year 2130.
Next-of-kin need not be concerned over the new system preventing any traditional religious rituals from being practiced.
NEA has consulted extensively on the system and all the major religious groups in Singapore, including the five religious groups (Muslims, Jews, Baha¨is, Parsi and Ahmaddiya), which do not allow cremation in their community, have endorsed the system. Next-of-kin are also free to erect monuments of their choice, as with the present system.
[1] Instead of traditional earth burial plots, a burial plot in the NBS takes on the form of a space saving concrete crypt without a base. First, concrete beams are laid as foundation. Panels are then lowered into the ground to form the walls of the NBS crypt. Each crypt is then fitted with a concrete lid. When the time comes for burial, the lid of the crypt is lifted to reveal the empty chamber and the base of earth below. The coffin/shrouded remains is lowered into the crypt to rest on the earth. The crypt is then fully covered with earth before being sealed with a concrete lid, following which next-of-kin may erect a monument/tombstone of their choice.

Source: News Release 7 May 2007

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