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HindustanTimes Tue,02 Sep 2014

Delhi’s pets to get a final resting place

Sidhartha Roy, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 20, 2014
First Published: 00:34 IST(20/5/2014) | Last Updated: 00:37 IST(20/5/2014)

Delhiites would soon be able to give a dignified farewell to their pets. The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) is all set to allow crematoriums and cemeteries for pets and stray animals in the city.

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The DDA plans to amend Delhi’s master plan to include provisions for exclusive pet crematoriums and cemeteries. The land provided by the DDA can be used by municipal corporations to build and run the facilities.

“We plan to modify the master plan to include pet crematoriums and cemeteries. Once the proposal is approved by the Union urban development ministry, we will be able to allot land,” said a senior DDA official. “There are also suggestions for creating separate provisions for pets in existing cremation grounds, but no decision has been taken on it yet,” he added.

Once the DDA’s plans fructify, there would be more than 15 pet cemeteries or crematoriums across the city.

This would be a great boon for pet owners like Rohit Gupta, whose 11-year-old dog passed away last month. “He was like a loving family member. I couldn’t even think of burying him at a park or open ground, even when that seemed like the only way,” he said.

Delhi currently has 59 cremation grounds run by the three different municipal corporations and 53 burial grounds run by the Delhi Waqf Board. But there are no dedicated government-run crematoriums for animals.

The only such facilities for animals include one crematorium and one burial ground, both run by NGOs and located in the city’s periphery at Rajokri and Chhatarpur respectively. The cost of burying or cremating a pet at these places is up to `5,000. Gupta, too, took his pet to Rajokri but felt there should be more such facilities in all parts of the city.

At present, Delhi’s master plan doesn’t have any provision for pet crematoriums, making it difficult to allocate land for the purpose.

“Earlier people used to bury their dead pets in the lawn or garden of their house. But now, with most people living in flats, it has become a difficult task for owners to provide a dignified burial to their pets. That’s why we need crematoriums for pets,” said Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Dr. R.M. Kharb, chairman of the Animal Welfare Board of India. It was his suggestion to the DDA that led to the proposal for dedicated pet crematoriums.


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