A long queue of ambulances and private vehicles occupied the front yard of Sarai Kale Khan Crematorium where more than 50 wooden pyres burnt altogether. The dedicated Covid-19 crematorium, which had just 30 pyres a week ago, has ramped up its facility by nearly three times so that it could accommodate more bodies coming for a funeral there.
Sunil Kumar, manager of the crematorium told The Statesman that the facility is making space for 34 more wooden pyres in its green belt, which he says, will be ready by Wednesday.
“After the addition, we will have 84 wooden pyres and two burners at our electric crematorium,” he said.
However, Kumar believes that the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), which administrates the facility, will have to allocate more space since the current capacity is not able to accommodate the funerals to all, in a timely manner.
“People come here waiting for hours before they get a turn to cremate their loved ones. I’m running this facility for last many years but never witnessed such a bad scenario. Even the previous one (wave) wasn’t so horrible,” he said.
Kumar also informed that as many as 100 dead bodies are being cremated at the facility every day.
With the burgeoning load of dead bodies of Covid-19 patients waiting for the funeral amid the deadly fourth wave of the Covid-19 the national capital, the crematoria and burial are making space to accommodate all those coming for the last rites.
Meanwhile, The SDMC officials said that the civic body is augmenting the capacity of its nine cremation centres and graveyards in view of the rising number of Covid-19 fatalities.
“Earlier capacity of cremation was 289 per day which has now been augmented to 365. Of them, 289 have been reserved for Covid affected bodies. 229 wooden platforms and 30 CNG based are available for Covid affected bodies at our funeral centres,” a senior SDMC official informed.
He also said that the corporation is looking for new grounds to set up pyres there temporarily.
However, the scenario of increasing capacity for the dead bodies at funeral centres is extremely unpleasant and horrible for those who have to deal with it directly.
“I’m running this facility for the last many years but never witnessed such a bad scenario. Even the previous one (wave) wasn’t so horrible. Imagine where we have we reached if spaces are being made for dead than those living among us,” Kumar said.