The petitioners requested the Court to issue directions to shift crematoriums to locations with sparse population to minimise the threat of pollution.
• Six housing societies in Pune have filed a petition with the Bombay High Court, citing an increase in air pollution as a result of an increase in the number of cremations at a nearby crematorium due to COVID-19 deaths. The societies asked the court to intervene in order to remedy the health risks posed by air pollution from the crematorium in Navi Peth, Pune.
• According to the public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by advocates Ajinkya Udane and Asim Sarode, the crematorium's capacity is now over 100 bodies per day, despite the fact that it only has a capacity of 20. According to the petitioners, the smoke generated by cremating too many bodies is harmful to human health and has a detrimental effect on the heart and lungs.
"Air pollution is now the leading environmental risk for premature death, especially in COVID-19 circumstances," according to the petition.
• According to the PIL, a COVID patient's dead body is covered in plastic sheets or synthetic cloths, resulting in a strong odour and a large amount of black smoke.
It was also said that after the cremated dead's bones are released to their families, gunny bags full of ashes are thrown into the water, polluting it further.
• The petitioners also claimed that the Pune Municipal Corporation's assertion on its website that it has installed modern cremation equipment in six of the city's crematoriums is misleading.
• According to the petition, all crematoriums emit unhealthy smoke that pollutes the environment.
• The petitioners also mentioned that they searched and gathered information from other parts of Maharashtra but were unable to locate any relevant guidelines or norms for the management of crematoriums or the handling of bodies. For example, there is no pollution control device, such as a hood, blower, or scrubber, in an open cremation. As a result, the petitioners asked for instructions about how to mount high-quality smoke-control equipment.
• They also prayed for a proportionate distribution of crematorium load to other crematoriums, so that no one location bears the brunt of the smoke.
• It was specifically requested that crematoriums be relocated to areas with low population density in order to reduce pollution risks.
• The PIL has requested that the air quality around crematoriums be monitored on a quarterly basis.