The claim and registration process for the relocation of 20,000 existing niches at Mount Vernon Columbarium (MVC) will begin on Wednesday (Oct 28), the National Envrionment Agency (NEA) announced in a media release.
NEA said next-of-kin have until Jun 30, 2017 to claim the niches at MVC for relocation to Mandai Columbarium, as MVC will be cleared to make way for the development of Bidadari Estate.
The agency added that those who wish to claim the niches at MVC are encouraged to submit the completed registration form and supporting documents by Jun 30, 2017. "Claimants who wish to apply for niche re-location to Government after-death facilities will be invited to make a booking for the replacement niches after they have submitted their claims to NEA," the agency said.
Claimed niches will be relocated to Mandai Columbarium, unless claimants opt for them to be relocated to Choa Chu Kang Columbarium, or other private locations of their choice. NEA added that claimants who prefer to claim the ashes and perform scattering at sea will have the option of doing so.
"Niches that are not claimed by 30 June 2017 will be removed from MVC. If they remain unclaimed for three years after removal, NEA will undertake to scatter the ashes at sea," NEA said.
Claimants can register their claims for the niches located at MVC online, by post, fax or email, or in person at the MVC relocation office.
NICHE ALLOCATION, CHANGE OF NICHE TYPE OR NICHE CLASSIFICATION
All claimed niches will be replaced with the same niche type at Government columbaria, according to NEA.
"A niche re-located to Mandai Columbarium will be assigned a similar row placement as its previous niche position at MVC, and the position of niches within a row will be assigned sequentially on a first-come-first-served basis," NEA said.
For relocation to Government columbaria by NEA's contractor according to NEA's schedule, there will be no cost to the claimant for relocation and installation of the niche; provision of a standard niche marble plaque; and provision of a replacement urn if the original urn is damaged during the relocation process, NEA said.
"If the claimant opts to engage a private contractor for the re-location, the arrangement shall be at the claimant’s own cost," NEA said.
The agency added that a claimant may request a change in niche placement, niche type and niche classification (e.g. Christian or non-Christian), subject to availability. Requests for such changes will incur administration fees. Claimants may also choose to relocate the niches to a private columbarium or other private places of their own choice, at their own cost, NEA said.
For further information on the relocation of MVC, the public can visit NEA's website, or call the MVC relocation office at 6554 5657 during office hours.