Mira Bhayandar: Taking immediate cognisance of the news published by The Free Press Journal on August 17, highlighting the sorry condition of the defunct cabinets in the mortuary of the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC)-run Bharat Ratna Indira Gandhi Hospital in Mira Road, the recently appointed civic chief, Sanjay Katkar, has directed concerned officials to assess the situation and submit a report so that the necessary action could be taken at the earliest.
The morgue had a row of three cabinets with an equal number of units to preserve nine bodies at a time. However, when the construction work to add extra floors to the hospital building started, the morgue was temporarily shut down. But the morgue never started, apparently due to the improper handling of the cabinets, which remained non-functional for more than six years.
How the matter came to light?
The matter came to light after twelve out of the 21 cabinets in the mortuary (cold room) on the campus of the state government-run Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi (Tembha) Hospital in Bhayandar (west) developed technical snags and went out of use due to non-functional air-conditioners. With the functional cabinets already occupied, the hospital authorities had been sending back bodies that came to be preserved, thus underscoring the need for an alternative facility, which was in existence at the MBMC-run hospital until 2017.
Officials attached to the health department and the public works department have been directed to review the condition of the cabinets, whether they were in a repairable state, the average number of bodies coming for preservation, exploring options to hand over the cabinets to the civil hospital, the viability of operating the morgue, and expenses such as manpower involved in running the morgue. "Both the departments will review the ground realities and submit a report at the earliest," confirmed Deputy Municipal Commissioner Sanjay Shinde. The limited space to preserve dead bodies creates a huge amount of inconvenience for the bereaved families of the departed souls who need time to preserve the body.