The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) plan of setting up pet cemeteries has taken a step forward. NCP corporator and health committee member, Saeeda Khan, has asked for an update on the civic body’s plan.
Replying to it, officials said that the draft of proposed cemetery at Mahalaxmi is in final stage and the tenders for appointing a construction contractor will be invited soon. “There was a long-pending demand from citizens and many NGOs for pet crematoria. Following which, we proposed crematoria at Mahalaxmi, Deonar and Malad. They will be eco-friendly and service would be free of cost. Currently, there is only one crematorium at Parel animal hospital (SPCA). With no pet crematorium in the suburbs, we decided to construct three crematoria,” said a BMC official.
Bodies dumped in bins, crematoria need of the hour
The shortage of facilities for the cremation or burial of pets and other animals has been a problem the city has been facing for at least a decade. In the absence of a proper system to lay dead animals — especially cats and dogs — to rest, carcasses are commonly seen in community garbage bins, on streets and along railway tracks. Crematoria for pets in the city and suburbs is step in the right direction. Currently, the only options available are private crematoria and a government-run SPCA animal hospital in Parel. Though there is no official data available with authorities about the annual numbers of animal deaths in city, census figures show that there are over 1 lakh dogs in city. There is no official count on cats.
For the Mahalakshmi pet crematorium, BMC also received a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) fund offer. A provision of Rs 2 crore for development and maintenance of these crematoria has been made by the BMC.
The crematoria will operate on Compressed Natural Gas.
NCP corporator Saeeda Khan said, “In most cases animal bodies are thrown on the streets, nullah or some dumping ground. Many bodies are dumped in the Dahisar river. Pet cemetery is also needed in the suburbs. With bodies dumped onthe roads, there is always a risk of diseases.”
According to the civic body’s dog census in 2014 there are nearly 1 lakh stray dogs in the city. Also, another survey in 2012 had found nearly 40,000 pets in the city.