The BMC recently gave special permission to a family to bury the body of a loved one at Rafi Nagar Kabristan, in Govandi, despite the cemetery’s closure following the discovery of partially decomposed bodies in several graves.
Partially decompsed bodies found again
According to a Govandi resident, three to four graves were opened on Monday to bury the body, but cemetery officials found partially decomposed bodies floating in contaminated water in them. As a result, the Medical Officer of Health at M (East) Ward, Dr Sanjay Phundre, asked the family to bury the body at Chedda Nagar cemetery.
It takes around 18 months for a body to fully decompose.
"Faulty" soil - the reason
A local NGO has blamed “faulty” soil for preventing decomposition of bodies. “It’s clear proof of faulty soil present in the cemetery. We request the civic authorities change the entire soil and charge contractors for the immoral practices and hurting our religious feelings,” Govandi Citizens and Socio-legal Public Welfare Forum said.
Faiyaz Alam Shaikh, the founder of the non-profit, said, “There is a soil scam in Rafi Nagar cemetery... the soil is mixed with debris and sand, preventing proper decomposition of the dead bodies. The authorities should conduct soil testing and make the results public.”
Response from authorities
FPJ contacted Harshad Kale, Deputy Municipal Commissioner, M (East) Ward, who said the soil was placed two years ago, when he was posted somewhere else, and suggested contacting the medical department. Efforts to contact Dr Phundre and Alka Sasane, Assistant Commissioner, M (East) Ward were unsuccessful.
Last month the National Human Rights Commission asked the district magistrate to take appropriate action within eight weeks regarding the issue.