BHOPAL: The Bhadbhada Vishram Ghat Samiti will approach the court for dues related to cremation of bodies of Covid patients. They have approached every official concerned, but, even after nine months, they are waiting for an amount of nearly Rs 70 lakh to be paid. The samiti is falling short of funds even for running the electric crematorium, which was recently inaugurated. They have been asked to run the electric crematorium at their own expense and the electricity bill has to be borne by them.
‘Only Covid-positive paitents’
The samiti members say that they were told in March that, for cremation of every corona patient, they would receive Rs 5,000. But, when they had cremated the bodies for over a few months, the administration introduced a clause that they would get paid only for cremating Covid-positive patients. They were told that they would not be paid for bodies of either suspected patients of corona or for bodies brought from out of Bhopal — whether of a suspected patient, or of a positive patient.
1,414 bodies cremated so far
They have cremated 1,414 bodies till date and they have received the amount for cremation of only 72 bodies. The committee members complain that, even after cremating the bodies through all that fear and risk, this is what they have been told by the administration. “The administration hadn’t stated any such rules earlier and, now, after nearly nine months, they have failed us,” said Arun Chowdhary of the Vishram Ghat Samiti.
He added that the electric crematorium built at the Vishram Ghat was lying non-functional as the civic body was not consenting to pay the electricity bill. Especially in corona time, the electric crematorium provides safety while burning bodies and holds out fewer risks, said Chowdhary. He said the civic body should ensure that the bills are paid from their funds, or else the electric crematorium would not function.
‘The only way out’
"Bhopal Municipal Corporation hadn’t stated that we were to exclude the bodies of patients who belonged to other districts, or to exclude the bodies of suspected patients from the list of payments due. We’ve held talks at all levels and, now, there’s only one way to seek our dues, and that is to approach the court," said Arun Chowdhary, member, Vishram Ghat Samiti.
Will talk to BMC: Collector
Bhopal collector Avinash Lavania said that he had full knowledge of the matter and that he would hold talks with BMC
He said he would review the situation and take action as required