TOPSHOT - In this aerial picture taken on April 26, 2021, burning pyres of victims who lost their lives due to the Covid-19 coronavirus are seen at a cremation ground in New Delhi.
TOPSHOT - In this aerial picture taken on April 26, 2021, burning pyres of victims who lost their lives due to the Covid-19 coronavirus are seen at a cremation ground in New Delhi.
(Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP)

NEW DELHI: The national capital is witnessing an eerie reality: patients running from pillar to post searching for hospital beds, morgues running out of stretchers and the cremation grounds bursting at the seams with funeral pyres.

Delhiites with all their ingenuity and uncanny knack of out-of-box thinking are unable to find space to cremate the dead.

At the Sarai Kale Khan cremation site, for instance, around 60-70 bodies are being handled every day. The facility, however, has capacity for only 22. Now, at least 100 new platforms are being raised in the green space near it in anticipation of an even higher caseload.

Back to the wall, people have even utilised parking lots near cremation grounds to give the Covid-stricken some semblance of dignity in their final moments.

The situation is equally grim in Delhi's other 25 crematoriums and burial grounds run by three of its municipal corporations.

The land crunch has added to other problems like overworked staff at the crematoriums; so much so that relatives of the dead have to lend a helping hand by moving firewood and making other arrangements. Arun Sharma, caretaker of Geeta Colony crematorium told India Today TV, "We had stocks of wood for the next 2 months but it all got over in the past 10 days. We are now waiting for more wood supply."

Even as the crematorium staff slogs from 6 a.m. to midnight, relatives wait for five to six hours to dispose of the dead.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal

www.freepressjournal.in