Earthen pots filled with the ashes of the deceased hang on a tree at the cremation ground in Chandigarh’s Sector 25, as no more lockers are available to store them.(Keshav Singh/HT)
Earthen pots filled with the ashes of the deceased hang on a tree at the cremation ground in Chandigarh’s Sector 25, as no more lockers are available to store them.(Keshav Singh/HT)

In absence of lockers, urns hang from trees at Chandigarh cremation ground

Several people have requested the administration to issue special passes so they could immerse the ashes in the Ganges at Haridwar
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By HT Correspondent, Chandigarh
UPDATED ON APR 14, 2020 08:27 AM IST

The municipal corporation is faced with a strange problem. In the absence of adequate lockers to store the mortal remains of those who have died during the lockdown, several urns with ashes now hang from the trees at the cremation ground in Sector 25.

As a result, the MC has decided to add more lockers to make space for urns that have not been collected by the families of the deceased.

While several in the town had asked the UT administration to issue them special transit passes to Haridwar so they could immerse the ashes in Ganga river, MC’s medical health officer Dr Amrit Warring said there were no directions from the UT to issue such passes to the relatives of the deceased.

“Therefore, extra lockers are being provided for safekeeping of the urns till the time these are not handed over to their relatives,” he said.

Meanwhile, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) local convenor Prem Garg said that the cremation ground is full of urns as nobody is taking them to immerse in Ganga due to the lockdown.

“I request the administration to issue special transit passes to the relatives to take these and immerse these in sacred rivers,” he said.

He added, “I, too, offer to take all those unclaimed urns to Haridwar in a vehicle and immerse all these after performing collective rituals at the ghat on behalf of the relatives of the dead.”

A senior official of the UT administration, who did not wish to be named, said they had issued few transit passes recently, but the visitors were not allowed to enter Haridwar. “I had also spoken with the Haridwar district magistrate, who said no one was allowed to enter the city for performing last rites till the time the lockdown is in place,” he said.

He added that the effort is to increase the number of lockers in order to ensure safety of the urns. “Since the cremation ground is under the MC, they are taking all possible measures to increase resources,” he said.

There is no official figure on the number of unclaimed urns lying with the MC.

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