The dead matter: HT Spotlight on state of Punjab’s mortuaries

  • HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jun 13, 2016 18:22 IST

If we do not treat the dead with dignity, what hope is there for the living? Amid the din of issues that seem all-important in Punjab’s poll season, HT takes a close look at one that’s closer to the ground. While at most places the freezers are not working, there is utter neglect on the part of authorities in other areas too.


Non-functioning freezers outside the mortuary at the Ludhiana civil hospital. (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. For detailed report by HT correspondent Aditi Goel, click here.


The mortuary on the campus of Amritsar’s Government Medical College in Amritsar. (Gurpreet Singh/HT Photo)

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. Divya Sharma reports, details here.


Outside the mortuary at the Jalandhar civil hospital. (HT Photo)

On an average, the mortuary at the Jalandhar civil hospital gets five bodies a day, and eight of the freezers remain booked at most times. The building is located at the rear side of the hospital, and windowpanes are broken. The area around the mortuary has turned a parking lot for people coming to markets on Old GT Road. And that’s not all; Jatinder Kohli has more details here.


Work in progress for a new mortuary at Government Rajindra Hospital in Patiala. (Bharat Bhushan/HT Photo)

There were instances in the past when rodents literally fed on bodies kept at Government Medical College and Rajindra Hospital’s mortuary in Patiala. That facility was finally demolished in February. A new one with facilities in consonance with Medical Council of India’s rules is still being built. Detailed report by Vivek Gupta is here.


The mortuary at the Bathinda civil hospital. (Sanjeev Kumar/HT Photo)

A proposal for a new mortuary at the Bathinda civil hospital was sent in December 2014 to the Punjab Health Systems Corporation. “The officers there asked us to repair the existing structure until the new one is constructed; but we couldn’t do that due to paucity of funds,” an official told Sachin Sharma, whose detailed report is here.


Inside the mortuary at the civil hospital in Mohali. (Gurminder Singh/HT Photo)

At the civil hospital mortuary in SAS Nagar (Mphali), there is hardly any foul smell, no dingy corners; but the walls were damp, and there are loose-hanging wires at the entrance. Of the eight freezers at the mortuary, which on an average two post-mortems a week, four are under repair. But it’s not all that bad, relatively speaking, reports Shailee Dogra here.

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