Mumbai: Faulty gas chamber leads to long queues at Ghatkopar crematorium

Updated: 11 September, 2020 07:21 IST | Anurag Kamble, Bakulesh Trivedi | Mumbai

While fewer bodies have been arriving, the defunct electric furnace means waiting time is over four hours

The electric furnace is defunct
The electric furnace is defunct

OR three weeks now the electric chamber of Ghatkopar's Hindu Crematorium has been lying defunct leading to long queues outside, as people have to wait for four hours to conduct last rites. 

Though the number of COVID bodies arriving at the crematorium has gone down, the dependency on wood has kept the waiting periods long.

The Ghatkopar Hindu Smashanbhumi Committee manages the crematorium, which is located in the Rajawadi area of Ghatkopar East.

According to sources, even a couple of months back, about 35-38 bodies used to reach the unit on a daily basis for cremation.

At that time both the electric chamber as well as wood were being used for burning bodies. But, since the past three weeks, all of it is being done using wood.

Electric furnace inoperative

"We have been told that the electric furnace is not working and hence, wood is being used for cremation. It takes around three to four hours to complete the last rites of each person, so others have to wait for almost five hours," said a man waiting in the queue outside the crematorium.

Even the technicians who maintain the electric furnace  are battling COVID-19Even the technicians who maintain the electric furnace are battling COVID-19

The centre is now receiving about 10 to 15 bodies each day for last rites.

Nimish Timadiya, secretary of the committee running the crematorium said, "The problem started about 20 days back. Burning of COVID bodies clogged the electric chamber, which needs maintenance.

Also Read: Mumbai Crime: Chain-snatchers leave Ghatkopar woman with cracked skull

"Even the technicians of the company which does the maintenance work are battling with COVID-19. We are in touch with the BMC to get this repaired soon. We are trying our best to bring down the waiting time, but many people are getting inconvenienced and we are sorry for that.

"The load is slightly less now as COVID deaths have reduced, but we hope to repair the chamber soon." Timadiya added.

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First Published: 11 September, 2020 07:19 IST

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