Mumbai crematoriums feel the burden of COVID-19 deaths

Updated: May 20, 2020, 08:08 IST | Anurag Kamble, Shirish Vaktania | Mumbai

Two of them had to be shut due to faults because of overuse. The others are being put to use round the clock with the death toll in the city increasing.

This picture has been used for representational purposes
This picture has been used for representational purposes

Electric crematoriums across the city have started to feel the COVID-19 heat with more and more bodies coming in daily. Two of them had to be shut due to faults because of overuse. The others are being put to use round the clock with the death toll in the city increasing.

The BMC has a total of 11 crematoriums. An employee of the Chandanwadi crematorium in South Mumbai said, "It's been three days we haven't switched off the furnace. COVID bodies come in at any time of the day, so we can't keep them waiting. On an average, we get 10 bodies every day. Each body takes at least two to three hours to burn completely."

Sharing his experience of the last 55 days, a Bhoiwada crematorium employee said, "As most of the hospitals are close by, we see a steady flow of bodies here. Even as I speak, four COVID bodies are waiting to be cremated. This kind of overuse will lead to breakdown of the setup."

Assistant municipal commissioner Kiran Dighavkar said, "The Shivaji Park crematorium has been shut for repairs. Till now, 150 bodies have been cremated here. Due to overload, one of the chimneys developed cracks. Hence, bodies have been diverted to other crematoriums." For similar reasons, the Charai and Chemvur crematoriums have also been shut diverting its load to Ghatkopar and Vikhroli.

Speaking to mid-day, Kandivali local corporator Priyanka More said, "Due to overload the machine at the crematorium got stuck and had to be shut down. Till Monday 2 pm all COVID bodies were sent to Daulat Nagar samshan bhoomi at Dahisar. But now the machine is properly working."

"Daily more than 20 bodies are cremated at the Daulat Nagar crematorium. The number increased from Sunday as the Kandivali one was not working, said local corporator Abhishek Ghosalkar.

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