NEW DELHI: With Delhi witnessing record rise in COVID-19 cases, works to start three more furnaces at the Nigambodh Ghat crematorium has been speeded up.
General secretary of the crematorium's managing committee Suman Gupta said three furnaces which were lying dysfunctional are being rebuilt with the final assistance of from Indraprastha Gas Limited and the works are likely to be completed in the next 30 to 45 days.
Currently, three CNG-based furnaces were in operation, of which one has developed some technical snag and is being rectified, he said.
"The three other CNG based furnaces are under construction and we are trying to finish work on them in record time. Till then, we are using the remaining furnaces and wooden pyres for the cremation of COVID-19 victims by following the guidelines," Gupta said.
He said that bodies of COVID-19 victims were received mainly from the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) hospital and some other nursing homes and hospitals in North Delhi Municipal Corporation areas.
"Some bodies are also brought from Ram Manohar Lohiya hospital to this crematorium. So naturally, there is a pressure to cremate all the bodies reaching here without any delay. On an average, 20-30 bodies of coronavirus victims are being received presently for last rites," he said.
Many relatives of the dead prefer cremation of bodies in CNG furnaces.
It takes two to two-and-a-half hours to cremate the body and they have to wait, Gupta stated.
Nigambodh Ghat also has around 100 platforms for cremation using wooden pyre.
Forty platforms have been reserved for cremation under COVID-19 protocol for disposal of bodies, he said.
A platform can be used for cremation of one body in a day.
It can not be reused unless the remains of the previously cremated body are picked up the next day by the relatives, Gupta said, adding the crematorium will be able to dispose of bodies with full rituals in a faster manner once the three CNG-based furnaces start functioning.