NEW DELHI: With an unprecedented surge in Covid-related deaths in Delhi, the city’s main cremation ground at Nigambodh Ghat received 192 bodies on Monday. North Delhi Municipal Corporation has now issued orders to keep all the six CNG furnaces in the crematorium operational 24×7 till the present situation continues.
“Considering the emergency situation due to increase in Covid-19 deaths, the cremation capacity has been enhanced. All six CNG furnaces at Nigambodh Ghat will be functional for 24 hours on all days of the week till further orders,” an order issued by the public health department on Monday stated.
Data available shows that out of the 192 bodies that were cremated at Nigambodh on Monday, 100 bodies were of Covid victims. As many as 160 cremations were held on Sunday, 126 on Saturday and 124 on Friday. In comparison, just 30 to 40 cremations were being held between April 1 and 4.
North corporation mayor Jai Prakash said to reduce the load on the biggest cremation ground of the city, the Inderpuri facility would now also cater to Covid patients’ bodies coming from Lok Nayak Hospital. “While Hindu rituals do not allow night cremations, but these are unprecedented times of a calamity and we have to accommodate these changes. If a family comes late around 8-9pm, we should not be returning them. All CNG furnaces will be available 24 hours a day,” he added.
Officials from the public health department estimate that under normal conditions, Nigambodh Ghat can process 174 bodies a day — 120 wood-based traditional funerals and 54 CNG furnace-based cremations.
East Delhi Municipal Corporation has also decided to keep its Karkardooma and Ghazipur facilities operational 24×7.