SINGAPORE - Ahead of the Qing Ming or Chinese tomb-sweeping festival in April, the National Environment Agency (NEA) has put up an advisory reminding those who observe the occasion to be considerate while burning joss paper.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday (March 21), NEA asked the public to use burners and containers when burning joss paper.
It also asked them to remember not to leave any food offerings or litter behind, as these could lead to mosquito breeding or rat infestation.
In an extended advisory on its website, NEA added that those who burn joss paper should minimise flying ash to reduce fire hazards, as well as to burn it in small quantities to minimise smoke.
Town Councils will provide bins and containers for residents in housing estates for this purpose.
As large crowds are expected at the Choa Chu Kang Cemetery and at columbaria in Mandai, Yishun and Mount Vernon, NEA advised visitors to take public transport.
The peak periods are expected to be: March 25 and 30, April 1, 5, 8 and 15.
At the same time, NEA advised the public to exercise discretion while engaging grave maintenance services that are not regulated by NEA.
"Next-of-kin who have not made prior private arrangements for gardening or tombstone maintenance services at the Choa Chu Kang Cemetery are advised not to pay anyone who claims to have maintained the graves of their loved ones," said the authority.
NEA also warned freelance gardeners and contractors not to engage in any illegal activities such as touting, extortion, harassment or cheating or risk facing penalties.
Those on the end of such activities are advised to call the police, contact the Cemetery Office at 6793-7428 during office hours, or call NEA on 1800-2255-632.
Additionally, as there are ongoing construction works for the development of a new crematorium complex, some roads and open-air carparks near Mandai Columbarium Blocks B and C will be temporarily closed.
A shuttle bus service, which charges a fee of $1.40 per trip, will be deployed between Khatib MRT Station at the Exit A pick-up point and the rear entrance of Mandai Columbarium in Mandai Avenue.
It will ply the route every half an hour from 7am to 5pm on March 23, 24, 25, 30 and 21, and April 1, 7, 8, 14 and 15.