NGT Urges States & UTs to Opt for Eco-Friendly Modes of Cremation
Green modes of cremation are an eco-friendly alternative to the traditional practice for safeguarding the environment, and so far, it has not fitted well in the Indian cultural landscape
Traditionally in India, cremation after death is a popular way of disposing of a dead body. It is because Hindus believe that this method releases the soul and helps in the reincarnation process. However, with the increasing population and number of dead bodies being cremated every day, there is a huge impact on the environment.
To address these environmental issues, the National Green Tribunal has finally made a concrete decision. The judicial bench is now urging all Indian states and Union Territories to opt for eco-friendly modes of cremation. As a result, the judicial body wants the people to explore the potential of electric or PNG crematorium than wood that causes air pollution.
A bench led by Adarsh Kumar Goel, NGT Chairperson Justice, mentioned that the air pollution due to the course of cremation is causing adverse effects on the environment. While religious beliefs consider cremation by fire as pious, this ritual requires the burning of an average of 350-450kg of wood in the open. This not only leads to air pollution but deforestation too. Hence, the bench urges religious leaders to take charge to change the mindset of people. But it won’t be an easy task in a country of strong faiths, traditions, and cultures.
Reason behind NGT’s urge
The NGT urged states and UTs to look for an alternative to cremation after getting a plea petition from Real Anchors Developers Pvt. Ltd. to prevent air pollution by cremation. According to the plea, the emissions, and dust released from the crematorium running at Shakti Khand-4 in Indirapuram, Ghaziabad is hazardous to the environment.
As a result, NGT directed the Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam for expediting the process of remediating the waste scientifically. It will ensure proper disposal and handling of cremation remains. After the case, the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) has to specify proper infrastructure for the existing projects in terms of proper sewage and solid waste management by Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam.
The green panel made it very clear that their decision is not to hurt any religious belief. They are just taking this remedial step to prevent air pollution. Meanwhile, they want to educate and encourage Indian people to follow more eco-friendly modes of cremation.
To start with, electric or PNG crematoria is a good substitute for the age-old wood-based crematorium.
How does electric/PNG cremation work?
Here’s how the electric/PNG crematoria functions:
- The cremation in the Electric Crematoria consists of a high-powered furnace. The body is placed within the combustion chamber. Plus, the crematory lined with fine refractory bricks can withstand extreme temperature fluctuations.
- The electric crematorium consists of a double chamber furnace for cremation along with secondary air holes and a strong cremation bed. This chamber comes with a capacity of around 54 kW.
- The whole process of cremation in this chamber takes place in only 60 to 90 minutes, depending on the size of the body and other biological reasons.
Advantages of eco-friendly modes of cremation
The conventional pyre for a funeral needs approximately 450 kg of firewood, some desi ghee, three litres of kerosene, and 300-400 cow dung cakes for every single body. So, the total cost of cremation turns out to be around INR 2,000 to INR 3000. and, the mortal remains need to be carried out only after 24 hours.
But electric cremation, on the other hand, is less expensive in comparison to traditional cremation. Plus, relatives can take the mortal remains within a few hours. But what’s more important is that you don’t need wood to burn in electric cremation. So, there are no gas emissions.
While electric cremation is an unconventional way to dispose of a dead body, it is helpful to preserve resources, such as wood, kerosene, and more. Plus, it is very economical as well.
Challenge in using electric cremation in India
While electric cremation is seen as a good eco-friendly alternative, Hindus do not find it right. It is because orthodox families believe that electric cremation is not how the process is meant to be done. It is because it won’t allow a soul to release its former body and also won’t reincarnate again.
But considering the increasing environmental hazards, it’s high time that we start switching to a green cremation system. It is because this environmentally-friendly cremation mode can save valuable resources like trees and water. Hence, good for preventing the environment.
What do you think about this plea of NGT? Do you agree with it? Or want to stick to your traditional belief? Share your views with us.