Residents held a silent protest against the administration on Monday
MUMBAI: Finding nearly 30 bodies of Covid-19 victims lined up at Dadar’s Shivaji Park electric crematorium as compared to four to five bodies earlier or even none on some days prior to the pandemic, residents of the area took to the streets on Monday morning.
Wearing masks and holding placards stating they had a right to clean air, the residents staged a silent protest against the civic administration. They said the black smoke emanating from the crematorium’s chimney coupled with the foul odour had caused breathing problems for several residents.
Shrikant Bhoite, one of the residents, said the crematorium was located in the middle of a densely populated residential locality which comprised several senior citizens. “It can become a health hazard for locals if the situation does not improve. While we are not against cremations here, there has been a steady rise in numbers. Why can’t they be taken to other crematoriums?” said Bhoite.
The residents said they have found that bodies of Covid-19 patients are being brought from hospitals in South Mumbai like GT Hospital though there are adequate crematoriums in the area itself.
MNS party worker Yashwant Killedar said complaints to the civic administration had fallen on deaf ears. “To add to the problem, hearse van drivers are careless with their personal protective gear such as face masks and gloves, which we find strewn on our streets.”
Explaining the queue of bodies, civic sources said of the two furnaces, one was currently functional since both cannot be operated at a stretch. When contacted, G North assistant municipal commissioner Kiran Dighavkar said cognizance had been taken of the residents’ concerns. “We will try and request hospitals to take the bodies to the nearest crematorium,” he said.