Burial grounds and crematoriums buckle under third wave

Burial grounds and crematoriums buckle under third wave

New Delhi: At Delhi's Nigambodh Ghat, one of the city's biggest cremation ground, families bid their goodbyes with silent tears to members who died due to COVID-19. With the onset of winter and pollution, the number of cases and deaths has increased, making it a difficult situation at cremation and burial grounds.

Broken families wearing PPE kits and barely able to comprehend the loss, as their loved one is kept among a pile of woods and burnt to ashes. For 77-year-old Laxmi (name changed) her family was everything. "We all lived together. A week back, she was tested positive for covid, after which, we rushed her to the hospital. She was on ventilator but due to her age and other health factors, she could not survive," Deepak, her son-in-law told Millennium Post as the family was preparing for the cremation ceremony.

Speaking about the condition there, an official at the cremation ground said that they are cremating at least 20 bodies in area allotted for covid patients since November 1. "This is the third time we are witnessing an increase in number of dead bodies. First was in April-June where we used to get 20 to 25 bodies. Since November 1, we are again getting an increase in the number of bodies, where at least 20 bodies are coming," the official said.

This has created issues for the cremation officials, as non-COVID patients have almost no space to burn the bodies. "Cremation ground has been allotted for patients who have been allotted in areas of different hospitals. However, the hospital sends everyone here," the official added.

At, Delhi's ITO graveyard, similar issue has been witnessed. Shamim the caretaker said that they were allotted 10 acres of land for burial of covid patients, which has reached its brim. "We were given 4 acres initially as no one had any idea about the numbers, after which two acres more were added. We have now in total given 10 acres, which is filling fast. We are left with a space for 70 to 80 more bodies and looking at the trend of COVID, we feel this much space won't be enough," he said.

He added that hospitals have so many bodies kept that he has been getting calls at night for the burial of bodies.

The space and time shortage to bid farewell is creating a mess for the families, who are already grieving the loss of their family members. "COVID took him away from us. But that was not the end, the cremation process has been a nightmare for us," a young man at Nigambodh said as he and his brother watched their third sibling being


He said that they had to arrange everything themselves, while no help was provided by the cremation committee. Nigambodh ghat cremates close to 80 bodies, including that of COVID patients everyday. "We are only expecting the number to go higher in the coming days," the official at the

ghat said.

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