Photo Courtesy: Ashmita Thapa
The Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) officially began the use of an electric crematorium at Pingalasthan in Kathmandu from January 24, 2016. The facility was inaugurated by Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Ananda Prasad Pokhrel.
The electric crematorium is believed to be more cost-effective and eco friendly than the traditional wooden pyres that was being used since the last century. The crematorium was installed with the hopes that people would stop using the traditional methods which cost around Rs. 7000 for 300kgs of firewood and it also released a ton of smoke to the atmosphere. The electric crematorium uses electricity to start the fire and it only costs about Rs. 3000 for one body. It is not only cost effective and eco friendly, but it also saves hours of time because it can incinerate a body in about 45 minutes whereas the traditional method takes up about 4-5 hours. All the last rites can be performed as usual.
The facility has two incinerators worth Rs26 million which were built by Indomen Engineering Service, Kolkata. The plant will receive uninterrupted power supply while the PADT has also installed a power backup. It also has a cooling room to hold 20 bodies and also separate rooms with hot showers for the mourners to perform their required rituals.
Even though this facility started its operation, the old firewood pyre is still available for use at the Ghat. People will not be forced to use this facility.
Ramesh Kumar Upreti, executive director of PADT is hoping that the general population will eventually see the benefits of this facility as compared to the traditional methods. "We will make people use electric cremation service only through awareness. They will not be forced. By using the firewood pyre, the ashes and the remains of the firewood are usually flooded to the Bagmati river which effects the environment negatively. Our organization believed that this electric crematory was a huge step not only in saving the environment but also keeping the Pashupati Area clean and tidy. "