The mortuary on the campus of Amritsar’s Government Medical College, associated with Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, has been non-functional for the past two years, and remains in a dilapidated state. With the air-conditioned chamber not working, bodies are kept on ice slabs, purchased by relatives. The building too needs repairs.
A mortuary was earlier at Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital but that area since been developed into the Urban Haat, as a result the one on the college campus is being used. Also, people keen on donating bodies for research are now not doing it seeing the mortuary’s condition.
College authorities have made temporary arrangement of preserving bodies by putting them in a tub full of chemicals. Dr Ram Sarup, medical superintendent, said, “At present, ice slabs are being used to preserve the bodies; a temporary arrangement. However, as far as I know, the mortuary is under the control of the principal of the medical college.” Principal Dr BS Bal did not take calls. Another mortuary in the government sector is at Civil Hospital, which is struggling in the absence of a hotline (all-time-on) electricity connection for at least two months now.
Senior medical officer Dr Rajendra Arora said the hotline was affected by the ongoing construction work in the city.
“I have written to the authorities concerned to give us back our hotline, because a body needs a particular temperature at all times to be preserved. Though there is a power generator; but that’s not as reliable.”