As daily cremations rise, Bombay HC directs govt to look for 'modern techniques' to reduce pollution
The petitioner told the high court that due to an increase in COVID-19 cases and deaths, some crematoriums in Pune are currently handling cremations of over 80 bodies per day
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Thursday said considering the prevailing COVID-19 situation and the increase in number of deaths, civic authorities should look for modern techniques while disposing of the bodies in crematoriums to reduce pollution.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Pune resident Vikrant Latkar, raising concerns over air pollution in the areas near crematoriums.
Latkar's advocate Asim Sarode told the high court on Thursday that some of the crematoriums in Pune are currently handling cremations of over 80 bodies per day. This creates a lot of pollution in the vicinity, he said.
The petition further said the chimneys of many crematoriums are not constructed according to the standard design, due to which the fumes released does not move upward.
The bench directed advocate Abhijit Kulkarni, appearing for the Pune Municipal Corporation, to file an affidavit in response to the petition.
"Crematoriums have to function effectively, especially now. In fact, all civic authorities should now look into modern techniques to see how pollution can be controlled," the court said and posted the matter for hearing next week.
On Wednesday, Maharashtra reported 46,781 new COVID-19 cases, raising the infection tally to 52,26,710, while 816 deaths pushed the toll to 78,007, as per official data.
The easing of restrictions under the new Maharashtra 'unlock' plan will depend on the weekly COVID-19 positivity rate and status of occupancy of oxygen beds, Maharashtra minister Vijay Wadettiwar had said
Bombay HC asks why senior citizens can't get jabs at home if vaccine drives are allowed in housing societies
The court made the observation while hearing a PIL seeking a direction to the Centre and state governments to start door-to-door vaccination for those who cannot step out of their homes and travel to vaccination centres
According to officials, the facility will be available to those who need to undertake international travel within 31 August