Mumbai

Plea filed in High Court seeking directions to control air pollution around crematoria

A view of the Bombay High Court.   | Photo Credit: VIVEK BENDRE

A public interest litigation (PIL) petition was filed in the Bombay High Court on Tuesday seeking directions to the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) and the Pune Municipal Commissioner to plan a comprehensive programme for prevention, control or abatement of air pollution in and around crematoriums.

The plea was filed by Vikrant Latkar, a retired civil engineer, through advocate Ajinkya Udane. The PIL said, “The Vaikuntha crematorium near S.M. Joshi hall, Navi Peth, Pune, does not have the capacity to handle 80-100 bodies which are currently being cremated there due to COVID-19. This creates a huge amount of toxic and thick smoke as the crematorium is full and there is a load on it.”

Watch | What is happening in India's crematoriums?

The plea said the crematorium was polluting the surrounding environment through dark, thick smoke being emitted by the chimney fixed on its top. “The smoke is hazardous to human health.”

It is alleged in the PIL that the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has also not followed the standard design of chimney due to which the gas released into the air is under the inversion layer of the earth and therefore the air is not moving upwards but towards ground level due to which people and the environment are suffering.

The plea urged the court to pass a direction to the PMC to install high quality equipment as well as a higher stack for management of smoke release out of chimneys and other electrical and gas chambers and to install live monitoring within the stack. It also sought a direction to the MPCB to carry out stack and ambient air quality monitoring of crematoriums on quarterly basis and install real-time air pollution meters in adjacent residential areas and publish their readings in public domain.


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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 5:31:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/plea-filed-in-high-court-seeking-directions-to-control-air-pollution-around-crematoria/article34538359.ece

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