Millennium Post (Kolkata)
Long wait at crematoriums in Gujarat amid COVID-19 surge
AHMEDABAD: Relatives of COVID-19 victims as well as those who died of other ailments are forced to wait for hours for performing the last rites as many crematoriums in Gujarat are witnessing a huge rush since the last one week.
Though Hindus generally do not cremate the dead after sunset, many of them are left with no option but to perform the last rites of the deceased at night in view of the rush of bodies at various crematoriums, officials said on Thursday.
Two days back, around 25 bodies were cremated simultaneously on wood pyres at night in a crematorium in Umra area of Surat city.
In Vadodara also, people were forced to cremate the deceased during the night due to the huge rush at some crematoriums, Vadodara Municipal Corporation's standing committee chairman Hitendra Patel said. To tackle the situation and reduce the waiting period, authorities have added metal pyres in some crematoriums and also started defunct facilities.
In Ahmedabad city, relatives of some of the deceased claimed they had to wait for over eight hours for cremation.
A huge rush was seen at Vadaj and Dudheshwar crematoriums, two of the major facilities here, in the last couple of days.
A person, who had to stand in a queue on Tuesday to attend the last rites of a relative at the Vadaj facility, told reporters that seven bodies were brought to the crematorium between 8 am and noon.
“All had to wait for their turn,” he said, adding that though he arrived early in the morning for the cremation of his relative, their turn came in the evening.