Lucknow Nagar Nigam plans to install incinerators to cater the hike in funerals per day.
The demand for firewood at crematoriums is increasing as more bodies are being cremated.
Hari Shankar Pandey, who organises cremations said, ‘The present situation is like that of a house which has the capacity to provide food for four people, so if all of a sudden ten people come asking for food, the house will run short of ration’.
Lucknow according to Ridhi Gaur, the Maha Mantri of Gullala Shamshan Ghat, requires at least four electric incinerators at both Baikunth Dham and Gulala as these two witness most of the cremations and 1 each at other crematorium grounds.
Manoj Kumar, Additional Commissioner of Lucknow showed concern for the increasing demand for wood due to shortage of incinerators and said, ‘We are working to set up incinerators as soon as possible so the cost of wood can be brought down so deforestation could be reduced.’’
‘But these machines will go waste once the death toll falls’, mentioned Hari Shankar. Adding to that he said that more machines will require more labourers and these labourers will need to be paid, ‘who will pay them then? And what will happen to the torn-off machines?’
Fareed Zaidi, Chief Engineer in Lucknow Nagar Nigam said, ‘The death toll has gone up approximately from 20 to 80, which has increased the demand for wood by four times’. He mentioned that among the bodies of COVID-19 patients a lot of them couldn’t get a hospital bed and died on their way or back at home.
The Ghat officials mentioned that an incinerator takes an hour to cremate a body so to cremate 20 bodies it will take 20 hours plus these machines require time to cool down. Hence it has become necessary for more such machines to be set up.