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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Mumbai Hit by cyclone Tauktae Bandra crematorium remained unrepaired as monsoon arrived

Mumbai: Hit by cyclone Tauktae, Bandra crematorium remained unrepaired as monsoon arrived

Updated on: 03 July,2021 07:43 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Diwakar Sharma | diwakar.sharma@mid-day.com

Facility officials are struggling to cremate bodies as the pyre roofs that were blown away by the cyclone were not fixed

Mumbai: Hit by cyclone Tauktae, Bandra crematorium remained unrepaired as monsoon arrived

Cyclone Tauktae blew away asbestos sheets from the roof of the Hindu crematorium in mid-May. Pic/Atul Kamble

Just the thought of a crematorium with rain barrelling down on burning pyres is enough to send shivers down Mangesh Gosavi’s spine. Ever since Cyclone Tauktae damaged the roofs of the Hindu crematorium at Khar Danda on Carter Road in Bandra West, disruption during people’s last journey has become a common sight that he can’t escape.


Gosavi, a death registration karkoon — someone who maintains the record of bodies brought to the crematorium — said he wrote to Sanjay Funde, BMC’s medical officer of health, on May 31 requesting him to get the roof fixed, but the three pyres at the facility still remain exposed. mid-day has a copy of the letter.


Cyclone Tauktae blew away asbestos sheets from the roof of the Hindu crematorium in mid-May. Pic/Atul Kamble


“This is to inform you that a week ago the shed of Hindu Shmashan Bhumi at Khar Danda got blown off in the cyclone. If it is not repaired before the monsoon, it would be difficult to burn the bodies as the firewood will get wet on the pyres,” reads the letter to Funde.

“Forget repair, none of them even visited to conduct the survey to assess the level of damage in the cyclone,” Gosavi told mid-day.

Rain disruption during funeral rites brings a lot of trauma for the kin of deceased, said GosaviRain disruption during funeral rites brings a lot of trauma for the kin of deceased, said Gosavi

Gosavi said he has to hold the funeral rites at all the pyres if it rains heavily. “I have no other option as the asbestos sheets above the cremation chambers were blown off by Tauktake. If we allow last rites when it rains, the firewood on the pyres will get wet and the burning of corpses will get unnecessarily delayed,” he lamented.

Such a situation brings unspeakable emotional trauma for the kin of a departed person. 

The dilapidated crematorium officeThe dilapidated crematorium office

Rohidas Chimbaikar lost his father on June 11 and he reached the crematorium in the evening. “It was raining heavily and the firewood on the pyre got wet. We had to struggle a lot to complete the rituals,” said Chimbaikar, adding, “A lot of people have been complaining regarding the blown off shed but the authorities are yet to act.”

Sources told mid-day that the situation becomes so messy at the crematorium on some rainy days that few families skip a part of the rituals as the “pressure from other families with corpses mounts”. The helpless and bereaved families, carrying corpses, have to mill around the premises to protect themselves when it rains, they said.

“Though we tell the families to take bodies to another crematorium in Shashtri Nagar, Santacruz, they prefer waiting here with the corpses,” said Gosavi. The facility is used by the residents of Ambedkar Nagar, 14th Khar Road, Mount Merry and Khar Danda.

Gosavi said 54 Covid-19 victims were cremated at the crematorium last month and their relatives had a tough time because of torrential rains.

On the alleged delay in fixing the roof, Funde told mid-day, “The Hindu Crematorium at Carter Road needs to undergo a thorough revamp. For the maintenance, I have written to the Health Infrastructure Cell and Building Maintenance department of BMC immediately after receiving a letter from DRK [Gosavi]. But nothing has been done yet.”

The official added, “I will take a quick follow-up now and expedite the process to get it repaired within a week or so.” 

The roof apart, the office of the crematorium is also dilapidated, though it has got some temporary fix for the time being. “There was leakage from the roof and the files and documents kept here got damaged. As the rainwater dripped down, the floor would get waterlogged. Sometimes we would get an electric shock after touching the walls as the wiring was loose,” said another employee at the crematorium.

Gosavi said, “A coat of asphalt was applied on the office roof a few days ago, but we don’t know if it will stop the leakage as it has not rained heavily since then.”

May 31
When Gosavi wrote to officials requesting repairs

Fifty-four
No. of Covid-19 victims who were cremated at the facility last month

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