Not many Bengaluru residents know that the garden city has an exclusive animal crematorium for its four-legged friends. Tucked into a corner of the Summanahalli cemetery is Bengaluru's only Animal Crematorium.
Unfortunately people like Anumeha Shah -a data-entry operator and a resident of Koramangala- never knew of its existence until now.
"My dog Lizzie passed away three months ago and I did not know where to bury her. I am not from Bengaluru, and neither are my friends. None of us had any clue about any pet cemetery or crematorium. So we buried her near the field in Domlur," shares Anumeha with The News Minute.
While residents like Anil Shekhar, a techie from Bellandur, have the option of burying their pets in farm houses owned by family members, others do not have a clue about what to do when faced with a similar situation.
Many pet-owners would love to give their deeply loved pets a proper burial, but Bengaluru currently has only one such pet cemetery in Uttaralli located on the premises of the People For Animals (PFA) Wildlife Hospital.
PFA charges Rs 4500 per year for the burial and maintenance of a normal grave. For a special eco-friendly burial, the charges are Rs 18,000 for three years, while an extended cement construction costs Rs 25,000 for five years.
The organisation uses the funds generated from the pet cemetery to maintain the wildlife hospital, says Rashmi Mavinkurve of PFA.
However, for those who cannot afford to pay for a burial, the BBMP Animal Crematorium charges Rs 300 for the cremation of small animals and Rs 1000 for the bigger ones.
"Some people are extremely attached to their pets. We even collect the ashes and give it to the pet owners, if they put in a request. People are yet to know such a facility exists‚Ä¶.maybe because it has been just over a year since the crematorium has become operational,‚ÄĚ feels N Penchalaiah -the crematorium operator.
The crematorium, whose construction was completed in 2013, could not begin operations immediately, as the Pollution Control Board took two years to issue a clearance certificate.
There was also an understanding that more crematoriums would come up in four other city-zones, but that plan never materialised, he adds.
When TNM spoke to an official with BBMP's Animal Husbandry Department in this regard, the reason given for the dropping of the plan was the ‚Äėunfeasibility‚Äô of the proposal.
"The proposal was shot down, as the existing crematorium is not able to generate sufficient revenue for the upkeep of the facility. It presently generates a monthly electricity bill of Rs six lakhs, but the revenue got is just over Rs 30,000. Hence the Executive Electrical Engineer felt that it would not be feasible to have four more crematoriums," the official said.
According to the official, obtaining land to construct the same, and lack of transport facility to ferry dead carcasses of strays were added deterrents: "No one wants a crematorium in their locality. Even the Corporators object to it. Most of the time, animal carcasses are thrown into garbage dumps or in the gutters. We now plan to request for allocation of funds for transport-service in the next budget."
(All pictures from People For Animals)