Delhi to Use Animal Crematorium Site for Humans Due to Mounting Covid Deaths

India has been grappling with an exponential rise in COVID cases following which several states, including Delhi, have been forced to reintroduce lockdown-like curbs on social movement.

Amid an unexpected rise in deaths, Delhi’s municipal authorities have decided to create temporary human funeral pyre platforms at a project site, which was originally set to serve as the city’s first municipal dog crematorium. 

The decision has come as a step to help out people who are scrambling for space to cremate their Covid-hit loved ones amid a mounting number of deaths.

Spread over a 3.5 acre area, the new crematorium site has yet to come into operation for dogs.

Officials said the decision is intended to create temporary pyre platforms to accommodate additional bodies, than can be cremated in existing infrastructure meant for it.

“We are witnessing over 15-20% rise in daily cremations. People are being given tokens to cremate their loved ones as hundreds of deaths are being reported every day,” said a civic body official.

The official also said that amid such an unexpected situation, they have been forced to create additional makeshift cremation facilities in parking areas and parks across the city. But he pointed out that the Delhi government is under-reporting the Covid deaths. 

“There are 26 crematoriums under MCD and the data collected by them is way more than the daily data shared by the Delhi government,” he said. 

The city has three civic bodies – North, South, and East Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), administered by the federally ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. The city, otherwise, is administered by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Arvind Kejriwal government.

Meanwhile, the municipal officials are also worried over crematoriums running out of wood, required for pyres as per rituals, due to a rising number of fatalities.

“We have to stay prepared for 1,000 bodies a day in advance to avoid chaos. For wood supply, we have written to the city’s forest department,” the official said. 

On Wednesday, the city of Delhi witnessed 25,986 new cases and 368 fresh fatalities due to Covid-19 disease.

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