The dead can’t feel, but doctors and a few other employees go through a hellish experience almost every day in this toilet-turned-post-mortem room at Indore’s district hospital.
The post-mortem room at district hospital in Indore. (Amit K Jaiswal/HT photo)
Shockingly, this has been going on for about eight years, despite the state government granting Rs. 16 lakh for the construction of mortuary at the hospital.
"In 2006, the then commissioner AK Das had decided to allow post-mortems at district hospital as well to lessen the load on MY Hospital. Then a toilet was converted into post-mortem room. Since then post-mortems are being performed in this small room," said Bharat Vajpayee, in-charge of forensic medicine department, district hospital.
The forensic medicine department, with strength of three employees, caters to cases of 12 police stations. "Till now we have performed about 6,000 post-mortems in this small room, and sometimes I get irritated over the problems which I face," Vajpayee said. In 2006, the matter was raised in the Assembly by legislator Sudarshan Gupta, after which the government granted Rs. 16 lakh, official sources said, adding that the proposed mortuary was still "under construction".
"I don't know how long we have to do post-mortem in this room. It is damp and too small. If more than one body comes, then you cannot walk into the room. I have written many times for new mortuary room but in vain," said Vajpayee.
Employees also complain of getting electric shocks from the walls of the 10x10 square feet room.
"Often the sweeper and other employees get electric shocks inside the room if they touch the walls," he added.
"The smell of rotting flesh that fills the room is often nauseating. If a body remains for a day in this room, it takes hours for the smell to vanish," said Santosh Vankar, an employee of the department.
Before 2006, all post-mortem examinations were conducted at MY Hospital. It was so overburdened with cases that their reports used to be released in months.
Hence, the advocates of Indore bench of MP high court had filed a petition after which the administration took cognizance and decided that a post-mortem room should also be established at the district hospital.
When contacted, chief medical and health officer (CMHO) Indore, Ashok Dagaria, said the problem would be sorted out soon. "The new post-mortem hall is under construction and soon it will become operational," he said.