New Delhi: Longest-serving Chief Minister of Delhi Sheila Dikshit was cremated on Sunday at Nigambodh ghat after she passed away at 3:55 PM on Saturday- but even in death she taught us a lesson.
The 81-year-old veteran Congress leader was cremated using the CNG method, in compliance with her wish. The CNG cremation method was introduced by Dikshit herself in the national capital during her tenure- with an aim to curb air pollution.
The national capital and its neighbouring regions are not unbeknown to severe air pollution which gets even worse during winters. (Delhi-NCR continues to rank highest in the world’s most polluted regions.)
A News18 report quoted Mokshda (non-profit which campaigns for environment-friendly cremation) director Anshul Garg, “A person who has lost a parent is so shocked by the death that the thought of protecting the environment doesn’t strike him. The relatives around too criticise him if he decides to go for the eco-friendly option, saying he is not ready to spend a little extra money for someone who is dead.”
It is this non-profit that arranged for Sheila Dikshit’s CNG cremation at Nigambodh ghat.
A CNG cremation will cost around Rs 500, as opposed to traditional cremations where each quintal of wood costs nearly Rs 1,000. Moreover, while burning a body using wood can take up to 10-12 hours, a CNG cremation would turn the body to ashes within an hour.
Sheila Dikshit was a vocal proponent of safeguarding the environment. It was under her tenure in 2001 that the Delhi public transport vehicles were shifted to CNG from Diesel in compliance with the Supreme Court order. Despite strikes by the transport associations, and several missed deadlines, Sheila Dikshit was able to implement the Supreme Court order on public transport being fuelled by the CNG.