BHAGALPUR: With a view to checking air pollution and contamination of the Ganga, the Bhagalpur Municipal Corporation (BMC) has planned to install a new electric crematorium at Barari ghat on the river embankment.
A survey for the purpose has already been done by BMC engineers and officials, including municipal commissioner Shyam Bihari Meena.
The Rs 3-crore project’s nodal agency is Bihar Rajya Jal Parishad and the work is likely to begin soon. The new crematorium is targeted to start functioning in next six months. “We are going to erect a protective concrete wall on the embankment to protect the crematorium from floodwaters in monsoons,” he said.
BMC sources said an electric crematorium at Barari cremation ghat was established nearly two decades ago, but it became defunct a few days after its commissioning due to electricity supply issues besides damage to the building due to floodwaters.
Local challenges like machinations of the wood sellers and orthodox believers that ‘moksha (salvation)’ can be attained only through traditional burning of bodies, also contributed to the failure of the old electric crematorium project.
The proposed establishment of an electric crematorium is also important in view of the National Green Tribunal’s directive to the central government in 2016 to initiate measures to provide alternative modes of cremation besides the recently launched ‘Namami Gange’ project to clean the holy river.
The move also assumes significance in view of the fact that Bhagalpur has been included in the list of ‘Smart Cities’ of the Centre.