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Covid-19 surge: No space to bury dead bodies in graveyards, graves being dug in advance to save time, crematoriums break down due to overload

The largest graveyard in Delhi, Jadid Qabristan Ahle Islam, can accommodate only 150 more dead bodies.

India has recorded over 1,85,000+ Covid-19 cases in a single day. 1,026 people have lost their lives due to the complications associated with the infection yesterday. Though the average death rate is on the lower side, the number of dead bodies per day is increasing, which has created a problem for the graveyards in several cities.

The largest graveyard in Delhi can accommodate only 150 more bodies

As per reports, the largest graveyard in Delhi, Jadid Qabristan Ahle Islam, can accommodate only 150 more dead bodies. Mohammad Shamim, the caretaker of the graveyard, said that the number of dead bodies is on the rise since April 4. On April 12, 25 dead bodies were brought to the graveyard. Out of 30 dead bodies that were brought on April 13, 18 were non-Covid. Shameem added that he is the third generation of caretakers, and he has never seen so many dead bodies in a single day.

Labour is not ready to dig graves amid Covid-19 fear in Ranchi

As per regulations, the dead body has to be buried at 7 or 8 feet instead of the normal 3 feet to ensure infection cannot escape from the grave. Digging such deep graves take time and manpower. However, in cities like Ranchi, people are unable to find the labour to dig graves as they are afraid of the infection. They are arranging JCB machines to dig the graves. Mukhtar Ahmed of Anjuman Islamia said that the number of dead bodies has increased in the last few days. People have to wait for hours to bury the deceased. However, he ensured that there was no shortage of space.

The price of digging graves increased by 60% in Lucknow

In Lucknow, as the number of dead bodies increased, the price to dig the grave has also gone up. As per a report published in Hindi Daily Amar Ujala, 210 dead bodies were buried in the largest graveyard in the city, i.e. Aishbagh graveyard. Out of these 210, 14 were infected, according to Hafiz Mateen, caretaker of the graveyard. In the Hazratganj graveyard, 40 dead bodies have been buried in the last four days.

Price of digging grave increased by 60%. Left: Old price Rs.500. Right: New price Rs.800. (Image: Amar Ujala)

However, Hafiz Salimuddin, caretaker of the graveyard, assured that none of them was infected. The price to dig the grave has gone up by 60% from Rs.500/- to Rs.800/-.

Graveyards in Surat are digging graves in advance

In Surat, those who had died of Covid-19 are being buried in three graveyards that are located in Rander and Rampura. Ibrahimbhai, the caretaker of Mora Bhagal graveyard, said that before Covid, 2-3 dead bodies used to come on any given day. However, nowadays, around 10-12 dead bodies are arriving daily. They are digging graves in advance so that people do not have to wait to bury the deceased. He added, if they wait for someone to come and ask to dig the grave, people may have to wait for two days to bury the deceased. JCBs are also being used in Surat to dig graves.

JCB digging graves (Image: ABP News)

Crematorium grounds facing similar problems

The situation is no different on crematorium grounds. In Surat, dead bodies are being burnt day and night. At one place, the walls of the electric crematorium melted due to constant high heat. Ashwini Kumar and Ramnath Ghela crematorium grounds are getting the majority of the dead bodies. As per reports, around 100 dead bodies are reaching daily for cremation, which is much higher than normal. The administration has restarted Kailash Mokshdham to accommodate the increase in demand. Notably, Kailash Mokshdham was close for 14 years.

In Ranchi, the electric crematorium in Harmu broke down. While the administration was trying to fix it, the dead bodies were being buried in the open, which is not safe as per the protocols. A team from Delhi was called to repair the crematorium.

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