A crematorium running on solar energy is being built near Goraj Ashram in the city, a first of its kind initiative in the country of India.
The trust which runs the ashram has been aggressively trying to implement the use of solar energy for various requirements at the hospital, school and other facilities set up by it. Earlier, solar power was used for cooking, power and other requirements at the school.
The crematorium has been built as a chamber with special scheffler reflector developed specifically for this concept. The reflectors are designed to heat a two meter long crematorium chamber to above 700 degrees centigrade. "The facility was made operational on an experimental basis recently. It will be commissioned within two months and shall be free of cost for everyone using it," said trustee Uday Dalal. As an alternative to this, biogas will be used for cremation at the crematorium when sunlight is not there.
The traditional system of cremating people on woodpile consumes over 300 kilogram of wood. Many trees are felled to meet the requirement. The old method the woodpile was then to some extent replaced with electric and gas fired chambers.
"The crematorium is the brain child of the chairman of the trust, Dr Vikram Patel and expert on solar energy Deepak Gadhia. In fact, the concept of solar crematorium is unique and first of its kind initiative in India, developed with the aim of conserving environment," said Dr Rajesh Kantharia, associated with the trust.
Built with an investment of 75 lakh, the solar crematorium does not need electricity or gas. It makes it an energy and cost efficient method of cremation.
The trust has already got an inquiry from the Valsad municipality that wants to establish such a crematorium there. Dalal said that they have started contacting villages near Goraj to create awareness and acceptability of such crematoriums.