Address by Governor at the inauguration of Eco Moksha ‘A Green Crematorium – Piped Natural Gas Cemetery’ at Hindu Smashan Bhoomi at Linking Road, Santa Cruz (West) Mumbai
Address by Shri CH. Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the inauguration of Eco Moksha ‘A Green Crematorium – Piped Natural Gas Cemetery’ at Hindu Smashan Bhoomi at Linking Road, Santa Cruz (West) Mumbai at 5 pm on 23 October 2016
Smt Poonam Mahajan, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Shri Ashish Shelar, Hon’ble Member of State Legislature, Smt Alka Kerkar, Deputy Mayor of Mumbai, Shri Ajoy Mehta, Municipal Commissioner, Shri Bharat Shah, President, Senior Citizens Santacruz (Paschmi) Sanstha, officials, invitees, Mumbaikars, ladies and gentlemen,
I am indeed happy to associate myself with the commissioning of the Piped Natural Gas Cemetery as an extension to the existing Smashan Bhoomi in this part of the city.
This is a thoughtful initiative as it will give dignity to the dead while at the same time reduce the burden on wood which is widely used for cremation.
A good beginning has been made and I would like to congratulate Smt Poonam Mahajan, Shri Ashish Shelar and members of the Senior Citizens Santacruz Sanstha and the Municipal Corporation for their efforts in hastening the conversion of the Crematorium into Eco friendly Green Cemetery.
Ladies and gentlemen,
It should concern us all that at least fifty to sixty million trees are burned every year in India during cremations.
You know how difficult it is, to plant a single sapling, to make it grow and to ensure its survival. These days we have to organize tree plantation programmes to plant trees. To kill 6 crore trees in a year for cremation disturbs the conscience of any right thinking person.
According to a report, when we burn trees, at least 8 million tonnes of Carbon di Oxide or greenhouse gas is emitted.
Apart from causing pollution and environmental degradation, cremations using wood also generates large quantities of ash. We thus pollute water resources also.
At a time when many parts of the country face droughts and water scarcity, we cannot afford to burn our trees and pollute our water bodies.
I came across a report that the city has a total of 197 crematoriums of which 61 are municipal and 136 are private. However there are only 11 electric crematoriums. Which means, in Mumbai alone we are burning thousands of trees for cremation.
I understand, many people are reluctant to use electric crematorium for religious reasons.
As we launch the Eco Friendly Crematorium today, we must launch an awareness programme to encourage people to use Eco Friendly cremations and electric cremations. It should be the endeavour of BMC to convert all wood based crematoriums into Eco Friendly Gas Furnase Crematoriums. It will be a great service to Mother Nature.
May I suggest BMC to display a board at the entrance to the crematorium prominently. The Board should mention how much wood is burnt for a single cremation, how many trees are killed and how environment is damaged if we cremate bodies using wood based fuel. It will persuade people into using Eco friendly cremations.
We must also impress upon people the fact that Eco friendly cremation is economically much cheaper than wood based cremation. I have no doubt in my mind that the people of Mumbai would support this initiative wholeheartedly.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The city of Mumbai alone generates about 9400 tonnes of solid waste every day. Treating and disposing the waste is going to be a major challenge. Thankfully today there are technologies to convert solid waste into energy.
I do feel that the city of Mumbai must take up the issue of managing its solid waste and converting it into energy on a mission mode.
With these words, I once again congratulate Shri Ashish Shelar, the Senior Citizens Santracruz Samiti and BMC for this excellent initiative and thank all of your for your patient hearing.
Jai Hind Jai Maharashtra