Govt has to repair electric crematoriums in Delhi, need new ones, says plea in Delhi HC

A plea has come before the Delhi High Court demanding that all non-functional electric crematoriums in Delhi should immediately be repaired. The plea also wants more electric crematoria to be installed, considering the Covid situation.

The bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh today sought a response of the Delhi government, the municipal corporations in Delhi, and others and issued notice to that effect. The plea has been filed by advocate Kamlesh Kumar Mishra. The matter will now be heard on July 27.

The petition has raised various issues with the functioning of electric crematoriums in Delhi. It said some of them might be obsolete, requiring repairs. It said that if the need arose, more electric crematoriums be set up at different sites in Delhi. The plea has also asked for uniform cremation charges at all crematoriums.

Stated the plea: “The State has the constitutional duty to provide adequate facilities and opportunities by distributing its wealth and resources for settlement of life and erection of shelter over their heads to make the right to life meaningful, effective and fruitful. The huge number of deaths which are occurring in Delhi and also owing to the environmental concerns and so also to ensure that people and gatherings at the crematorium is brought to the lowest minimal, more number of electric crematoriums need to be installed and those which need repair shall immediately be repaired.�

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The petitioner submitted, “Registration is also vital for national planning. The civil registration records of births and deaths are necessary for countries to compile accurate, complete, and timely vital statistics, which, along with population censuses, are central to estimating population size – especially for small areas. Without knowing the size and composition of the local population, how can local authorities decide how much – and what type of essential services to provide? Similarly, the cause of death data from civil registration systems are vital for pinpointing the diseases and injuries that are cutting lives short and for planning preventive services to avoid premature mortality. Cause of death data are also useful to inform governments about outbreaks of fatal disease. Consider the recent Covid 19 outbreak. Once the outbreak was spotted it was important to look back in time to see which recent deaths might have been from the disease but not diagnosed, not least to trace those who had contact with the victim. This requires a solid system of registration, without such data policymakers lack reliable evidence to design policies: they are “flying blind�. And when governments fly blind then they are often making policy on the basis of ideology, anecdotes or for political considerations, rather than on evidence.�

Source: ILNS
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