Coronavirus outbreak: Allow more burial grounds in wards to accept bodies, says Asif Zakaria

Updated: Apr 13, 2020, 07:41 IST | Chetna Sadadekar | Mumbai

Corporator Asif Zakaria suggests alternatives as the civic body allows burials only in a handful of grounds across the city, creates confusion and distress for the mourning families

Bada Qabrastan in Marine Lines. Pic/Suresh Karkera
Bada Qabrastan in Marine Lines. Pic/Suresh Karkera

With the civic body allowing burials in only a handful of grounds in the city to bury patients killed by Coronavirus, corporator from Bandra Asif Zakaria has written to the municipal commissioner seeking clarity on the matter and has suggested that a few in every ward can be allowed for burials.
Zakaria also pointed out that families whose relatives are dying of natural causes are finding it difficult to carry out last rites as burial grounds are demanding police NOCs.

The Health Department has laid out various SOPs for the disposal of dead bodies along with a list of seven Muslim burial grounds and 11 Hindu cemeteries in the city and suburbs.

Many are finding it difficult to take bodies to far-off locations across the city, the corporator claimed. In addition, the C ward office, which constitutes of the Marine Lines area, has asked one of the biggest burial grounds in the city to accept bodies of only those who belong to the nearby areas, creating further confusion.

Police denying NOC
"I am given to understand that local police has intimated each graveyard and cemetery not to accept a dead body without their NOC and when citizens are going to the police station, police are referring them to the list and denying NOC," Zakaria said in his letter.

Zakaria suggested that ward officers study the feasibility of allotting graveyards and burial grounds in their areas based on prescribed parameters.

"In Bandra West and Bandra East, there are various Catholic cemeteries, Muslim graveyards and Hindu crematoriums, surprising none of the same are mentioned in the list, in spite of them qualifying as per the prescribed criteria. If such were included, one would not have to travel all the way to different parts of the city with the body and thus adding to the ordeal of their family members as well (sic)," Zakaria's letter read.

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