Donations pour in for Mumbai's first green crematorium
After mid-day’s report, the group of senior citizens from Santacruz, who had come together to set up a first-of-its-kind green crematorium on Linking Road Extension, have now got Rs 1.8 crore
It was with little over Rs 50 lakh in their kitty that a team of 150 senior citizens from Santacruz West, had come together to set up a first-of-its-kind green crematorium on Linking Road Extension, that would utilise LPG for the last rites. Along with other facilities, it was to also provide free cremation services to people from all strata of society.
(From left) Nagin Shah and Umesh Sheth with the site engineer who was explaining about the furnace and its process. Pic/Shailesh Bhatia
Barely eight months after mid-day highlighted the ambitious project (Mumbai to get a first-of-its-kind green crematorium, March 8) and its relevance in current times, donations poured in from everywhere, including the US and New Zealand, and the team, now with Rs 1.8 crore under their belt and a commitment of another Rs 1 crore from well wishers, are all set to start their services by March 2016.
The estimated cost of this state-of-the-art crematorium, which will be spread over 5,000 sq ft, is Rs 3.6 crore. The newly built 3,000 sq ft structure—which is an architectural showpiece, as it has no internal pillars to support the massive roof—has twin furnaces acquired from a Pune-based company, which cost Rs 1 crore.
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There is a provision in the dual treatment chambers, which will filter the fumes emitting from the cremation, before releasing them into the atmosphere. Nagin Shah (68), who runs a retail outlet in Santacruz, and is an advisor and chief coordinator for the entire crematorium project, said that the collection from well wishers had swelled after the front page media coverage in mid-day, and its colour printouts were part of their donation drive for the last phase of equipment installation, and collecting a corpus fund, for its day-to-day expenses.
According to Umesh Sheth, project coordinator of the crematorium, with their state-of-the-art facility, the residue of an average 60 kg body would be just 1 kg ash after the eco-friendly cremation. Dr Kirit Mehta, one of the founder members of the project, said that they have started getting enquiries from other traditional crematoriums across the city, which too, are keen to change with modern times.
Moving with the times
>> The mega project will also be equipped with special facilities including live video coverage with Wi-Fi, to relay the final rites to the deceased’s kin who may be based across the globe and are unable to attend the funeral.
>> For a nominal cost, provision would be made for refrigerated coffins in special cases, if the family of the deceased wants to preserve the body for a few days before the cremation. This will eliminate the need for transporting the body from the morgue.
Rs 3.6 crore
The estimated cost of this state-of-the art crematorium, which will be spread over 5,000 sq ft
Water activist Amla Ruia speaks to mid-day