Patna: Keeping in view the number of deaths in Bihar, family members of the deceased are waiting two to three hours in cremation grounds to perform the last rites of their loved ones.
Moreover, the employees at the cremation grounds are allegedly extorting Rs 2000 to Rs 4000 for ambulance service and cremation of one body.
IANS visited the cremation grounds in Digha, Bas Ghat and Mahendru Gulbi Ghat to check the ground reality. A number of bodies were found inside these cremation grounds located on the banks of the Ganga river.
An active worker of the ruling political party named Rahul Kumar, came with a body to Bas Ghat and said that the state government and the local administration completely failed to provide basic facilities in Bihar.
“As per a state government order, no charge is needed to be paid at the cremation grounds if a patient died due to coronavirus. Here in Bas Ghat, the ambulance charged Rs 2000 for carrying the body from the hospital to the cremation ground and I have paid Rs 2000 to cremate the body of my uncle,” said Rahul Kumar.
When asked, an employee of the Bas Ghat cremation ground said: “We are putting our lives at high risk of infection, hence, we are charging money and are not scared of the district administration’s action against us. The work we are doing is highly dangerous.”
In the last 24 hours, the state government said that 24 persons infected with coronavirus and admitted in different hospitals, have died in Bihar. Sources however said that the number of deaths is much higher than the official figures.
Keeping in view the long waiting time at the cremation grounds, Patna District Magistrate Chandrashekhar Singh admitted mismanagement at the cremation grounds. He has now directed the Patna Municipal Corporation to repair electric cremation units in Khajekalan, Patna city and Gulbi Ghat in Mahendru locality. At present, only one electric cremation unit at Bas Ghat is operational where 43 bodies were cremated in the last 36 hours.