State of mortuaries: 4 feet below the ground level, dreading monsoon | punjab$ludhiana | Hindustan Times
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State of mortuaries: 4 feet below the ground level, dreading monsoon

The mortuary at Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital here is situated four feet below the ground level, running short of freezers, and facing staff shortage. The deplorable state of affairs can be gauged from the fact that rats fed on the body of a suicide victim last year.

punjab Updated: Jun 13, 2016 18:27 IST
Aditi Goel
Damaged wall at the backside of mortuary at civil hospital in Ludhiana.
Damaged wall at the backside of mortuary at civil hospital in Ludhiana.(JS Grewal/HT Photo)

The mortuary at Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital in Ludhiana is situated four feet below the ground level, running short of freezers, and facing staff shortage. The deplorable state of affairs can be gauged from the fact that rats fed on the body of a suicide victim last year.

The low-lying building is a pitiable sight during monsoon. There is air-conditioner or even cooler.

It initially had six freezers; but currently can keep 16 bodies at a time, but the daily load of bodies to be stored in the mortuary is much more. During emergencies, the hospital receives more than 25 bodies at a time, as a result of which bodies are kept on ice slabs on a stretcher. The boundary wall at the rear side of the hospital adjoining the mortuary is broken. Also, residents of the neighbouring localities have to bear the stench. “Bodies are either put on the wooden plank inside the mortuary, or outside. Since the wall is broken for the past two years, we even have to bear the sight of bodies. Our repeated complaints and written appeals to the authorities have fallen on to deaf ears,” said Deepak Kumar, a resident of the adjoining locality Amarpura.

Read I HT Spotlight: State of mortuaries across Punjab

Also, this has meant loss of business for the petrol pump situated near the boundary wall. “Two months ago, the stench became unbearable and affected my health,” said the petrol pump manager, Sikander Mehla. Such is the shortage of staff at the mortuary that the sweeper is also entrusted with data maintenance and stitching of the body after post-mortem examination. Senior medical officer (SMO) Sukhjeevan Kakkar said, “A proposal for a new mortuary by Samvedna Trust (NGO) has been forwarded to the civil surgeon, who has forwarded the same for approval further. The new, 600-squareyard mortuary will be first of its kind in Punjab.”

NGO LENDING HELP

NGO Samvedna Trust, which installed six freezers at the mortuary in 2009 for unclaimed bodies, supplies ice slabs to the mortuary around the clock. Currently, it also runs mobile mortuaries and a mortuary van.

Chairperson of the trust, Subhash Gupta said, “After discussions with the SMO and civil surgeon, the trust has proposed a new project of airconditioned mortuary for 60-70 bodies.