Vrindavan, 2019.01.11 (VT): Inspired by MVDA’s (Mathura-Vrindavan Development Authority) work on eco-friendly ‘Smashaan Ghaats’ (Hindu crematoriums) in Vrindavan, the Uttar Pradesh administration has ordered replication of the model throughout the state.
Eco-friendly crematoriums use a combination of cow dung and wood.
MVDA is expected to invest a sum of Rs 3.35 crore on this project in Vrindavan. The foundation stone for development and reconstruction work at the ‘Smashaan’ situated near Keshi Ghat was laid in November last year.
At present, the crematorium has provisions for both wood and cow dung, but, given environmental concerns, the use of wood will gradually be reduced to a minimum.
In a meeting held recently in Lucknow, Nitin Gokarn (principal secretary – housing and urban planning, UP), appreciated the MVDA’s efforts in this direction.
Sanjeev Singh, special secretary- housing and urban planning, UP, directed all development authorities in the state to replicate the model in their respective areas of jurisdiction.
Every eco-friendly ‘smashaan’ will have a tree plantation area and ‘Navagrah Vatika’ (temple of nine celestial/astronomical Hindu deities). Funeral rites will be conducted as per scriptural injunctions, within 90 minutes.
In addition to having a positive impact on the environment in terms of reduced deforestation, smoke and waste products, the use of cow dung for funeral rites will create an alternative revenue source for ‘goshalas’.
Rocked by farmer protests throughout Western UP, including Mathura-Vrindavan and nearby villages, the government is now speeding up the work of rehabilitating homeless cattle. The main problem is the fact that these animals, particularly bulls, don’t have any economic value.
It is hoped that the eco-friendly ‘smashaans’ will be another small step towards integrating the ‘unproductive’ stray cattle to take their place in a harmonious Vedic economy.