Efficient crematorium project launched to save wood

February 17th, 2011 - 9:05 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 17 (IANS) In a bid to curb pollution levels and conserve forests, the ‘Harit Moksha’ project which aims to save 13,700 tonnes of wood on cremations every year was launched here Thursday by Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh. An initiative by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) in association with an NGO, Moksha Paryavaran Evam Van Suraksha Samiti, the project would enable better combustion efficiency and reduced heat wastage in cremations, officials said.

“About 30 new crematoriums are proposed to be set up in eight cities where ONGC centres are operational at a total cost of Rs.9.19 crore. Funds for the project would be provided by ONGC,” said ONGC chief managing director A.K. Hazarika.

The project would be implemented on turnkey basis in a period of three years. When completed, it would help in saving 13,700 tonnes of wood besides reducing 26,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually, officials said.

According to officials, 400 kg of wood is generally used in a cremation, but with this technology, around 200 to 225 kg of that wood could be saved easily.

“We lose two lakh hectares of forest just for felling trees for burning dead bodies every year. With the help of efficient wood-based crematoria, which will be culturally more acceptable to our people, we will be able to save more trees,” said Ramesh.

Talking about his association with the scheme of electronic crematoria in Uttar Pradesh as part of Ganga Action Plan-I during 1985, Ramesh said: “It did not proliferate much because of the shortage of power in Uttar Pradesh. It was also not culturally accepted.”

The minister stressed the need for collaboration between his ministry and various public sector units (PSU), including ONGC, to conserve environment and kickstart certain similar projects.

“Today you have a surplus of money and shortage of projects but once we start working together, you will have a shortage of money and surplus of projects,” he quipped.

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