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IIT-K to study impact of immersion of bodies

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)- Kanpur (IIT-K) is set to undertake a study to assess the adverse impact of the immersion of bodies and their burial on water and soil, said Prof Vinod Tare, advisor to the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG)
By Haidar Naqvi, Kanpur
PUBLISHED ON MAY 16, 2021 12:52 AM IST

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)- Kanpur (IIT-K) is set to undertake a study to assess the adverse impact of the immersion of bodies and their burial on water and soil, said Prof Vinod Tare, advisor to the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG).

The development comes in the backdrop of mass graves being discovered on the banks of the Ganga in Rae Bareli, Unnao, Kanpur, Fatehpur and Kannauj, and fears about possible contamination of water and soil if the bodies were of Covid-19 patients.

“We are going to study the impact of immersion of bodies and their burial on water and soil,” said Prof Tare, adding that the issue had been discussed at the NMCG level.

“Immersing a Covid body in Ganga would wash the virus, but it won’t be destroyed; you need different agents such as heat and others to destroy (it),” said Prof Tare, who is with the institute’s environmental science department and has been part of all top panels formed to rejuvenate the Ganga.

Seeking a complete ban on immersion and burial on the riverbed, he said the government should make arrangements in order to prevent the practice.

Prof Tare has issued an appeal for the people not to dump the bodies in the river or bury them close to it.

Many graves have been found in Unnao, Kanpur and Kannauj in the last few days. The bodies were buried at less than two-to-three-foot depth. This has heightened the fear that these corpses would be washed away once the river rises.

A unit of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), one platoon of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and jawans from river police would patrol the rivers on boats in these districts. Kanpur police commissioner Aseem Arun said the arrangement would be made in several districts. In Kanpur, a team would ensure that bodies were not immersed or buried along the river, he said.

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