To stop the toxic fumes billowing out of city’s crematoriums from invading neighbourhoods, KMC plans to raise the height of the chimneys considerably so that even if anti-pollution devices fail, the smoke is thrown out higher in the air and does not enter nearby homes and high-rises.
A KMC electrical department official said the civic body would start the exercise from Keoratola crematorium. “Keoratola is the largest crematorium in south Kolkata and we want to make it ecofriendly as much as possible. We will later renovate other crematoriums, like Nimtola, Kashi Mitra, Garia, Siriti and Cossipore,” said the civic official.
According to plans, the height of the chimneys will be raised by at least 10m. “We want to raise the height of the chimneys from the existing 20m to 30m. This will be beneficial to people living in the adjacent areas. Even if the anti-pollution devices at the crematoriums break down, the toxic fumes will float out of the chimneys at a higher level, giving people of even high-rises a miss,” the civic official said.
Apart from raising the crematorium chimneys’ height, the civic top brass has asked the electrical department to keep a watch on proper functioning of anti-pollution devices. “We often see toxic fumes emitting from the chimneys, and the reason is the poor functioning of the anti-pollution devices in the chimneys. We need to keep a watch on them. If any one of the anti-pollution devices does not function properly, it should be replaced immediately,” a KMC health official said. Once the chimney height is increased, the KMC electrical department suggested that, a spiral staircase be fitted to the facility from outside so that mechanics repairing the anti-pollution devices can reach the exact position and do the job without wasting time.
Residents of Chetla, who have been suffering owing to putrid smoke invading their homes, welcomed the civic decision. Abhishek Bhalotia, a resident of Diamond Heights, a high-rise in the backyard of Keoratola and one of the worst-affected, said he hoped the initiative would bring a relief to them. Tapan Halder, a mechanic of a garage located on Chetla Road, also expressed similar hopes, pointing out they suffered especially during winter, when the pollution level was usually high and the crematorium fumes added to it.
Source: Times of India