Mumbai: The St. George hospital of the Maharashtra state government, located next to Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus(CSTM) railway station conducts autopsy every month on almost 400 bodies. However, the post mortem centre, which is at the corner of the hospital and in a small hut like house is in dilapidated condition with no facilities. Doctor Madhukar Gaikwad, Superintendent of the St George hospital speaking to the Free Press Journal confirmed and stated that the proposal to get funds from the state government to construct a new mortuary has been send. “Once the funds are sanctioned the construction work for the new morgue will commence. The new morgue will be at the other side of the existing morgue as there is a proposal in the New Development Plan(DP) to widden the adjoining P D Mello road. If the new morgue centre is also constructed at the same place it might get demolished in future,” added the Superintendent.
The estimated cost for the construction of a new morgue is Rs 2.27 crore. Colaba’s Advanced Locality Management(ALM) activists, who are in forefront and putting pressure on state government to speed up the proposed project believe the funds should be sanctioned by the government immediately looking at the bad condition of the morgue. Renu Kapoor, one the active members in the ALM said, “The issue seems to be never ending. The collector has sanctioned Rs 1.66 crore for equipments, but what is the use of the equipments until a new morgue is not been constructed. Therefore, we the members have demanded to sanction funds for the civil work.”
Mumbai city Collector Shivaji Jondhle confirmed and stated that the funds have been given for equipments as his office cannot give funds for carrying out the civil work. “The file has been sent to the state and only the health Minister can sanction funds for the civil work,” he stated. Kapoor speaking to FPJ stated that they started an online campaign change.org were people participated in huge numbers and signed the petition supporting their demand to construct a new morgue at St George. “The idea is only to bring dignity in death as currently the dead bodies are stacked on each other due to small space, rodents are found roaming inside the post mortem centre,”she remarked.
She further stated, “I visited the St George hospital mortuary after my driver’s death. I was shocked to see the condition of the morgue centre. The post mortem was carried out by the sweepers who was not wearing any gloves, neither was in a uniform uniform and was completely drunk. Due to the bad condition of the morgue even doctors refused to do the autopsy. We complained later to the director of health and research department of state who ordered the hospital that the post mortem must be carried out only by a doctor. However, I doubt that the doctors are doing the autopsy.” Superintendent Gaikwad refuted the claims made by the ALM activist and stated that the post mortem is only carried out by doctors. Currently, at St George hospital for carrying autopsy there are 13 doctors and two extra doctors from forensic department.