At Ludhiana civil hospital, no space or dignity for the dead | punjab$ludhiana | Hindustan Times
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At Ludhiana civil hospital, no space or dignity for the dead

Relatives of Sandeep Singh, who was found dead in the car on Sunday late evening in Dugri, took the dead body to the mortuary late night and were told that all the refrigerators are occupied. There were no ice blocks available and the body started to emanate an extremely foul smell.

punjab Updated: Sep 19, 2017 15:30 IST
Amarpal Singh
Dead bodies lying in the open at the mortuary at Civil Hospital in Ludhiana on Monday.
Dead bodies lying in the open at the mortuary at Civil Hospital in Ludhiana on Monday. (HT Photo)

With limited space to store just eight dead bodies, the mortuary of the Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, is in a deplorable state with the kin of deceased, who are already facing tragic times due to the death of their loved ones, facing a harrowing time.

Relatives of Sandeep Singh, who was found dead in the car on Sunday late evening in Dugri, took the dead body to the mortuary late night and were told that all the refrigerators are occupied. There were no ice blocks available and the body started to emanate an extremely foul smell.

Though there are 16 refrigerators in the mortuary, only eight of them are functional.

Left with no option, Goldy, kin of Sandeep, was left to fend for himself when he bought ice-bricks from a vendor near the hospital.

“The body was kept in the open and there was no availability of ice blocks. We arranged ice bricks from a vendor on Field Ganj Road,” he said. 

When the HT team visited the mortuary on Monday, it was found that there were no air conditioners, and two bodies were lying in the open even as stray dogs were found to be roaming freely in the mortuary.

The workers who lift bodies in the mortuary said that they too face a lot of inconvenience. “It is difficult to breathe when the bodies are kept in the open,” said an employee requesting anonymity.

Though there are 16 refrigerators in the mortuary, only eight of them are functional. Sources said that on an average at least six dead bodies are brought to the mortuary everyday. The ones that are unidentified are stored there for 72 hours while the remaining bodies, which require a post-mortem, are kept for a day. So, when the number of dead bodies is more than, they have to be kept in the open. 

An average at least six dead bodies are brought to the mortuary everyday.

Sources said that out of the total of 16 refrigerators, six were donated by Samvedna Trust around 13 years ago. These six refrigerators have not been working since the last three months. The remaining 10 were also donated by Samvedna Trust last year, of which two have become non-operational. 

Senior medical officer (SMO) Kulwinder Singh said that the mortuary is being repaired. The project is with the non-government organisation Samvedna Trust. “They are constructing a room in which, we will be able to store 30 bodies,” he said.