Mandai Crematorium to expand to meetTHE Mandai Crematorium is slated to be expanded by 2019 to make sure it can continue to meet the nation's demand.
The existing complex has four service halls, four viewing halls, four waiting halls and one cremation hall with 10 cremators - with two more cremators being added this year.
The National Environment Agency (NEA) plans to build a new complex at the crematorium which will more than double its service capacity.
Slated to be completed by September 2019, it is expected to have at least six service halls, six viewing halls, three waiting halls and one cremation hall with 18 cremators.
The NEA told The Straits Times, however, that the project will expand only the Mandai facility's cremation services and not the Mandai columbarium.
The agency issued an open call, which ended last month, for firms to express interest in the crematorium project.
It will invite shortlisted firms to participate in the tender.
The Mandai Crematorium is one of only three crematoriums in Singapore and is the only one managed by the Government.
The other two, which are run privately, are at the Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery and the Tse Toh Aum Temple - both near Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park.
The NEA said in documents posted on government procurement website GeBIZ that "with the majority... opting for cremation at government crematoria, it is important to ensure timely expansion and development of new cremation facilities to continue to meet the cremation demands in the nation".
Funeral directors said the expansion will help meet a rising demand for cremation services.
Mr Roland Tay, 68, founder of Direct Funeral Services, which handles 15 to 20 cremation requests each week, said it has become increasingly difficult to book cremation slots at the Mandai complex.
"Sometimes the only slots available are at 7pm or 8pm," he said. "In the past week, there have even been a few days when there are just no slots available."
There were 19,355 deaths here last year, up from 18,938 in 2013 and 15,860 in 2004.
This article was first published on Mar 23, 2015.
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