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Clean crematoriums, graveyards needed: Delhi HC

Clean crematoriums, graveyards needed: Delhi HC

Moved by the “horrific” and “terrible” sight at crematoriums and burial grounds in the national capital, the Delhi High Court has called for their proper maintenance saying “departed souls need to be respected”.

Advocating for better regulation and cleaning up of crematoriums and graveyards, the court also sought an awareness campaign to encourage use of electric crematoriums instead of traditional system of performing last rites by burning the body on woods.

“Departed souls need to be respected. At least we should have clean and well-regulated crematoriums and graveyard. Electric crematoriums are the order of the day,” a bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva said.

Narrating an incident, Justice Ahmed said that once he had to visit an old crematorium near Okhla Bird Sanctuary and he was shocked to see its condition.

“I was horrified. It was a terrible sight as clothes and shoes were thrown here and there. A burial of a child was taking place. This should not happen and proper maintenance of these places is needed,” he said.

Counsel for Delhi government advocate Rahul Mehra said that awareness needs to be created among the people and all Delhi crematoriums now allow the cremation of children.

“In Hindu mythology parents of a dead child have two options either to bury or to put the body in the river. Crematoriums in Delhi now allow cremation of child also and awareness creating boards have been put at the gates,” he said.

The bench also expressed concern regarding burning of bodies with wood at the crematoriums saying it results in rise in emission of carbon dioxide and electric crematoriums should be put in place.

The observations were made during the hearing of a suo motu PIL on air pollution.

The bench also asked the Delhi government to look into the policy of replenishing the green cover in the national capital by replacing the older trees by new ones.

The bench posted the matter for further hearing on March 10 asking the nodal officer of the forest department to file a status report on the compliance of courts direction after holding a meeting with officials of civic bodies and their horticulture department.

( Source – PTI )

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