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The smell of rotting flesh often hangs in the air and stray dogs frequently wander into residential premises, holding chunks of human flesh in their mouths. And women and children have stopped climbing up to rooftops for fresh air, for fear of staring at cadavers, cut open and the internal organs hanging out. (Advisory:Graphic photo below)
For over three years now, residents of Bhagat Singh ward in Madhya Pradesh’s Garhakota town are living a “hellish life” thanks to the government hospital’s open-air autopsy room.
Garhakota, in Sagar district, is nearly 225 km from capital Bhopal. It is the hometown of Gopal Bhargava, panchayat and rural development minister in the Shivraj Singh Chouhan cabinet.
The post-mortem building, situated away from the hospital premises, collapsed over three years ago and since then the broken room has been the only place for performing autopsies.
Located right in the middle of a residential locality, people have to live with anything between seven and 10 post-mortems carried out on an average every month.
“It’s a mental torture for the people of the locality. We don’t know when the nauseating smell will hit us or when we will be an unwilling witness to human bodies being cut open. Children and women have nightmares when they see such scenes. It has been a hellish experience for us,” said Rajkumar Khare, a resident of the locality.
Another resident Roop Kumar Dubey said that often “stray dogs and pigs bring in human body parts. Then there is the smell. For us, it is a case of, if the sight does not kill you, the smell will”.
They said that repeated complaints have failed to evoke any response from the hospital authorities.
But even Bhargava appeared helpless.
“I arranged the sanctioning of Rs 9 lakh for the post-mortem building about a year-and-a-half. It is the responsibility of the health department to construct the facility,” he told HT.
The hospital management was not available for comments but a doctor LS Shakya admitted to the “grave problem”.
The block medical officer of Rehli Dr SM Sirothiya too said that funds have been sanctioned but work on the building was yet to start.