Furnaces full, Ghaziabad builds platforms on pavement beside crematorium
The Ghaziabad administration on Sunday began constructing new funeral platforms on the pavement of the road leading to the Hindon cremation ground as well as on the river’s floodplains to handle the deluge of bodies.
HT on Saturday reported that the Hindon cremation ground was struggling to cope with the number of bodies, despite the district administration’s claims that it logged just two Covid-19 deaths this month.
The state health control added two more deaths to its official tally on Sunday.
However, a district official, who asked not to be named said 43 bodies were brought to the cremation ground as of Sunday afternoon. Normally, a maximum of 15 bodies are cremated at the ground in a day, the official said.
The official said 46 bodies arrived on Thursday, 49 on Friday, 47 on Saturday.
State control room data shows that a total of 106 people in Ghaziabad have died of Covid-related causes since March 2020.
An HT team visited the cremation site on Sunday and found that workers deployed by the corporation were constructing new cremation platforms on the footpath where several cremations took place on Friday. Like Saturday, fresh charred remains were also spotted on the pavement on Sunday.
The HT team saw about eight new cremation platforms being constructed on the riverbed.
Ghaziabad district magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey did not respond to requests for comment despite repeated phone calls.
Ghaziabad’s chief medical officer Dr NK Gupta said most of the bodies being cremated at the Hindon ground were coming from outside the district. “Most of the people who have succumbed in Ghaziabad are from outside the district and they generally arrive here when their condition becomes critical. Once a patient dies, the bodies are not allowed to be taken to their homes as per protocol. Also, the time taken for cremation of one body is 4-5 hours due to Covid protocols, resulting in delays,” Dr Gupta. He added that the two people who died on Sunday were admitted in Santosh Medical College.
MS Tanwar, Ghaziabad municipal commissioner, said, “The electric crematorium was out of order and repairs were taken up. It is functional now. We have deployed a team of officers at the site to ensure all arrangements are in place. The situation is normal now and not extraordinary.”
An official, requesting anonymity, said the new platforms were being constructed to meet “future exigencies”.
“The nine existing platforms at the cremation ground will also be revamped,” the officer said. However, the officer claimed, most families try to avoid the existing platforms since they believe that these are in “wrong direction” and in “wrong shape”, considering them inauspicious.
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