Choki Wangmo | Tsirang

Tsirang residents raised concern over increasing waste and river pollution as many dump wood from funeral pyre and other litter into Changchey river.

The riverside is used as Hindu crematorium.

A Kilkhorthang resident said people litter the riverside during cremation and throw half-burnt wood from the pyre directly into the river.

He said the woods could be dried and reused.

According to the Hindu tradition, a typical pyre uses more than 300kg of wood.

At the site, strewn PET bottles and plastic waste were found in the pockets of bushes, forests, and in the crematorium’s parking lot.

Residents said there are more than three cremations in a month from the surrounding gewogs near the river.

Some said public awareness of waste management and putting disposal bins could help reduce waste.

However, there were no disposal bins or public notification at the site.

A gewog official of Gosarling said people built funeral pyres along the rivers as there was no designated place for cremation and it was difficult to manage a particular area.

The road and the parking lot were constructed by the gewog.

The official said the gewog plans to facelift the crematorium in the next fiscal year by allocating more budget.

Meanwhile, some residents of Tsholingkhar gewog, located along the Changchey-Damphu highway, reported illegal dumping of construction waste in the area.

“A truckload of construction waste was found illegally dumped in our area, polluting our clean environment. A few individuals and agencies won’t be able to manage waste,” one said.

Dzongkhag officials said they were not informed about the problem.