Pet lovers in Kolkata will soon be able to give their loved animals a dignified farewell at a leafy crematorium on the outskirts of the city for a much lower cost than a burial. The West Bengal government decided to set up a pet crematorium, complete with incinerators and a garden, because of the lack of space for a cemetery.
With owners mostly struggling to find burial places, the state-run Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO) will build the facility at New Town, possibly with the help of an NGO that will also run the crematorium.
“The cemetery will have flowers and trees and a sitting area for owners to spend some time either during the cremation or after,” said Debashis Sen, chairman of HIDCO, adding five cottah (about one-fourth of an acre) were earmarked for the facility.
While the average amount to bury a pet starts at Rs 1,000, Sen says charges for cremation will be much lesser. A final price has yet to be fixed.
Officials realised pet owners either buried the animals within their property, or dumped them in a vat in their locality. Hardly 30 burials take place every year at the pet cemetery in South 24 Parganas district where only one animal can be buried at a particular spot, creating a space crunch. An incinerator takes care of these problems.
The decision on the crematorium was taken on Friday and will be implemented by New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA). However, tenders will be floated only after the assembly elections are over. The total project is estimated to cost Rs 2 crore.
“We have seen that there is no place in Kolkata or in any place in and around New Town area so the crematorium we have planned will cater to the needs of people of these areas,” Sen said.
The facility will be easily accessible to central, north, east and south areas of Kolkata, while the cemetery is largely restricted to the southern region of the city.