Grave problems at the Addolorata
The government is carrying out a census of the number of graves at the Addolorata Cemetery which have not been used for 50 years.
Health Minister Louis Deguara said yesterday that while a number of graves had not been used for a considerable period of time, there was a waiting list of over 2,665 people who wished to buy graves since many wished to have a family grave.
He said the government was planning to extend the Addolorata to meet demand once development permission was in hand.
A draft masterplan had also identified a site which could be used for a crematorium operated by the public sector. Three private companies had shown an interest but later withdrew their interest after conducting feasibility studies.
Dr Deguara told Jason Azzopardi (PN) in reply to a parliamentary question that studies showed that cremation would cost considerably more than an ordinary funeral. A crematorium needed to operate at a constant high temperature and it was more expensive to switch equipment on and off, but demand for such services was expected to be low in Malta. Many people still associated fire with punishment and, indeed, the introduction of cremation was slowest in Catholic countries.