On Tuesday, Ghaziabad got its first crematorium for dogs. Last month, Blue Cross of India in Chennai got a dual-chambered gasifier pet crematorium. The South Dum Dum Municipality animal crematorium, in Pramodnagar, Kolkata too opened to the public in December. Delhi’s first CNG-based cremation centre for dogs and small animals, being built in Dwarka Sector 29, would be operational by April. The first pet crematorium of Mumbai will come up in Dahisar soon, as Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) plans to construct a pet crematorium at each of its seven zones.
The past few weeks and coming few months are expected to see many pet and animal crematoriums and dedicated burial grounds launched or planned across Indian cities, from Guwahati to Mangaluru. A response to the long-pending demand of pet owners and animal lovers, these facilities are not only humane and environment-friendly, but also ensure scientific disposal of carcasses, especially those infected and should not end up in landfills.
Funded by CSR and Charity
So far, people in urban cities bury their departed pets in a piece of land. Those living in apartments find this difficult, as not many people agree to give their land for burial. In Mangaluru, where there is no pet crematorium, activists are also demanding the facility under Smart City Project.
Most of these crematoriums are being built through corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds, donations, initiatives of NGOs and public-private partnerships (PPP).
Mumbai’s second pet crematorium, after Dahisar, will be constructed in Mahalaxmi through CSR route, says the BMC. Built at a cost of about ₹9,89,000, the newly launched crematorium at Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, is also funded through CSR. The facility, constructed near Nandi Park close to the Hindon river, will use piped natural gas (PNG) as fuel and cremate community dogs for free. Officials said that the facility will charge owners ₹500 for cremating pet dogs, while community dogs will be cremated free of cost.
Launched recently, Guwahati’s first dog cemetery is an initiative of the NGO, Just Be Friendly. The NGO has come up with the dog burial project at Mairakuchi in the outskirts of the city under project JIRAW (JBF Integrated Care and Resource Centre for Animal). The burial service comes with the provision of engraving on the memorial wall for remembrance. The project also provides facilities of pick up and birth control, which is mainly for stray dogs.
Another NGO, People’s for Animals (PFA) Abhaya has plans to open an electric crematorium for pets at its Nagole shelter in Hyderabad. The crematorium will be constructed on a three-acre Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation land. Its target is to raise Rs.50 lakh for the crematorium and so far, has received Rs.12 lakh from donations.
The crematorium at Chennai’s Blue Cross, built at around Rs.50 lakh, is sponsored by Chennai Willingdon Corporate Foundation (CWCF). The incinerator is supplied by Essco Furnaces Private Limited, and customised and can accommodate up to eight dogs at a time. The smoke released during the process goes through a five-step treatment to make it more eco-friendly and reduce the smell. Stretchers are available to wheel the dead animals inside and prayer hall and urns for pet owners to carry the ashes. Earlier, the CWCF had built a geriatric ward for old, deserted dogs in the Blue Cross premises.
In Delhi, the pet crematorium in Dwarka Sector 29 would be taken up on a PPP model once the Delhi Development Authority approves the land, says a report. The 700 square metre facility, to come up in a four-acre plot, will have two furnaces of 150 kg and 200 kg. The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has fixed two slabs for dog cremations, one at Rs 2,000 for a dog weighing less than 30 kg and Rs 3,000 for a dog heavier than 30 kg. The facility also plans to have lockers to store ashes, a prayer room and a dog complex.
The Dehradun Municipal Corporation (DMC) is building a pet crematorium where priests will perform last rites of the departed animals. The centre at Shankarpur will also have a cold room to store animal remains until the rituals are conducted.
More than a Warm Farewell
Many of these crematoriums are supported with animal shelters to take care of old, abandoned dogs. In addition are facilities for people who care for them. The municipal corporations running these centres also plan to scale up these facilities to accommodate more animals, survey the number of animals within their limits, and take measures for animal birth control, if needed.
The South Dum Dum Municipality animal crematorium in Kolkata is open to cattle and other animals and has a crane to lift and place large animals onto the trolley. It also has a waiting room and toilets for mourners.
The Dehradun Municipal Corporation officials find animal crematoriums important, as many animals, especially cattle, are abandoned by people and many of which die in road accidents.
Faizan Khatri, an architect and the founder of the non-profit organisation The Initiative, will design the pet crematorium at Dahisar, Mumbai. His objective is to build a sustainable structure and repurpose the waste material generated from the Metro construction lines in the city as building construction material for the crematorium. The facility to be spread over a 2,500 sq.ft area will have an electric incinerator. The service will be free and only for pet animals. The BMC also plans to conduct a survey of stray animals this year, said officials.
The Ghaziabad pet facility will not only help the city with the safe and scientific disposal of dead dogs but also encourage people to register their dogs with the Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation. The corporation estimates that owners of about 20,000 pet dogs are yet to register them with the corporation. The money raised through the registration will help in the upkeep of the new pet crematorium.
The Chennai city corporation also plans a ‘small animal’ crematorium in Kannamapettai to upgrade its Animal Birth Control centres.