The crematoriums in Delhi, running day and night beyond their full capacity, have started making platforms for burning pyres in the parking lots and green belts within their premises. This is meant to help take on the load of dead bodies piling up in hospitals awaiting dignified last rites.
A cremation ground in the Ghazipur area of Delhi has made room for 20 more pyre platforms in parking lots, while about 10 more platforms were constructed overnight in Delhi's Wazirabad crematorium.
As Covid-19 bodies were brought to the crematorium without a break, officials set up pyres on a parking lot next to the road in East Delhi. They lost count after 100 on Friday evening. The crematorium handled around 20 bodies a day before the pandemic. @htTweets pic.twitter.com/BYE4I4IQ4H— prawesh lama (@LamaPrawesh) April 24, 2021
The Delhi government has increased the daily COVID-protocol cremation capacity in the city to 655, while designating three crematoriums exclusively for coronavirus dead.
With hundreds in the city succumbing to the disease, the government has been compelled to increase the daily cremation capacity of coronavirus patients four times in the past two weeks.
Dead Bodies Kept in Same Room as Patients
Some hospitals are grappling with the lack of space to timely manage the bodies of patients who have succumbed to the virus.
One COVID-19 patient, who was recently admitted to a Delhi hospital, opted to be discharged at the earliest due to the worsening state of affairs there.
"I preferred to come home rather than stay in the hospital. There were dead bodies in the same room where I was kept. Even the corridors were piled up with dead bodies as the hospital waited for space in the crematorium to do the last rites", the patient told Sputnik on condition of anonymity.
What Do Civic Authorities Say?
A senior administrative official of the East Delhi Municipal Corporation told Sputnik on Monday, "We are getting frantic calls from hospitals that they are running out of space to keep dead bodies and we have to quickly cremate these as our top priority. We are adding more pyre platforms in the existing crematorium premises, wherever we are getting space".
As many as 50 new pyre platforms are being constructed in the green space near the Sarai Kale Khan crematorium, another area of Delhi, by the government as the death toll continues to rise in the city, where millions of people live.
A dead body arrives every minute at Ghazipur crematorium in Delhi.— Ahmer Khan (@ahmermkhan) April 26, 2021
Counted 46 bodies in 50 minutes myself.
Photo by Ahmer Khan. pic.twitter.com/hQnSdcG3Dt
"It takes 5-6 hours for one body to burn and be cremated. With limited platforms to burn the pyres on, we are stretching ourselves to the last limit to cremate as many as we can. Most of our staff is working day and night", Jagdish, a worker at Nigambodh Ghat, Delhi's biggest crematorium, told Sputnik.
Recently, more than 200 bodies have been cremated there daily, he said, as compared to an earlier count of about 40.
The Indian capital city of Delhi, divided into three civic zones, has about 23 crematoriums under its administration. All the crematoriums are running beyond their full capacity: "We are in the process of setting up a 10-acre funeral centre in Rohini area of Delhi", said a civic body official.