A day after MiD DAY reported how a crematorium in Penkarpada doubled up as a parking lot at night where autos and cars were charged Rs 250 and Rs 300 a month (‘Crematorium by day, parking lot by night’), the Mira-Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) swung into action and has set up an inquiry into the case and promised to take stringent action.
The civic body also said that security at the crematorium would be stepped up and that the main gate of the crematorium would be locked up at night so as to prevent anyone entering the grounds at night.
Suresh Kakani, the commissioner of MBMC, said, “Soon after reading the report in MiD DAY, I ordered the ward officer to conduct an inquiry into the issue, which found that the crematorium was being used as a parking lot. We plan on taking action against the employees of the crematorium if it is found that theywere involved in this racket and are trying to track down the person behind this.”
On Friday afternoon, the MBMC ward officer Vasant Rane visited the ground and spoke to several locals in the area who confirmed that the crematorium indeed doubled up as a parking lot and that they hadn’t spoken up earlier due to political pressure.
“During the day, there were no vehicles parked in the ground but our inquiry revealed that people were being charged for parking their vehicles there. We have bought a new lock for the gate. Since the gate is old, we are in the process of getting it repaired and barring entrance for anyone after 10.30 pm in the crematorium,” Rane added.
A local, who was afraid to give his name, said, “This has been going on for a long time and all of us were against it but refused to speak up as we were afraid that we’d face political pressure. We thank MiD DAY for taking up this issue and alerting the civic body about this.”
Sources also added that the corporator’s son, who is allegedly behind the entire racket, had visited the area on Friday morning and warned the employees from speaking about the issue. “He instructed the security at the crematorium that from now on vehicles should not be parked inside, as the civic body was keeping watch on it and threatened that they could lose their jobs,” said the source.