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Logs made of cow dung and sawdust to be used in pyres at Varanasi Aug 18th, 2019 from Times of India

 Logs made of cow dung and sawdust to be used in pyres at Varanasi

In an attempt, which would go a long way to protect the environment, the Varanasi Nagar Nigam (VNN) have initiated a project wherein the pyres, at two of the important ghats of the city— Manikarnika and Harishchandra — would use logs made of cow-dung and wood dust.For the purpose, authorities have roped in a startup player which would be using the dung collected from the cow shelter home including Kanha Upwan of Chiaunikot in the suburbs of the city.

“The idea is that these new logs could replace the traditional wooden logs for burning the pyre and thereby save the trees in long run”, said the additional municipal commissioner Ajay Kumar Singh.
These logs would be manufactured in the scudder machine wherein the cow-dung would be mixed with the wood dust and after drying the same for around three hours, the end result would be logs ready to be used in performing the last rites at these ghats of Varanasi he added. Being light in weight and equally effective, when it comes to generate heat, these logs emit less smoke and retain heat for a longer time, which means that the bodies would be burnt in less time.

“Around 175-200 bodies arrive every day at the two major ghats of the city and family member uses anything from 160 to 440kg of wooden logs to burn these bodies”, said one of the priest at Harishchandra ghat, Bahadur Prasad.If these new logs are introduced, it would have to be seen how the family members respond because traditions are based on practices followed for hundreds of years, but surely something which uses cow-dung with wood stands at chance of acceptance from public, he added.Moving towards the ambitious project VNN authorities have mulled over the idea in backdrop of several aspects.

The project bears significance as would be cheaper apart from saving lakhs of trees. Moreover, projects such as this would make the cow-shelter homes economically viable because the cow-dung produced in these shelter homes would be used for manufacturing these logs.

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