Covid rage: Nagpur ghats used 2000 tonnes of wood for last rites of 6377 bodies in April

Nagpur: The peak of Covid-19 pandemic in April saw over 2000 tonnes of wood used for cremation of bodies at 16 crematoriums in Nagpur. The deadly virus claimed many lives in the city, overcrowding the NMC’s ghats in an unprecedented way.

The 2000 tonnes of wood used at ghats in April was six-fold more than the wood used in the month of February and four-fold more as compared to the month of March. According to the official figures given by the NMC, the last rites on 6377 bodies were performed at 16 ghats run by the civic body in Nagpur.

During to Covid-19 rage in April and death toll jumping to new highs, the crematoriums were overcrowded and overburdened to handle the last rites of the departed soul. The last rites were performed late in the nights. With heavy rush, the bodies are being cremated haphazardly at the ghats due to lack of proper space. Shockingly, at some ghats, bodies were kept upon one another and consigned to flames together by kith and kin of the dead. Some bodies were consigned to flames at vacant ground itself far away from the designated sheds due to lack of space.

Over 2000 tonnes of wood was used to perform the last rites of 6377 bodies. It was for the first time that such a massive quantity of wood was used at ghats in Nagpur. In March, the last rites were performed for 1725 bodies and 517 tonnes of wood was utilised. In February, 1031 dead bodies were accorded the last rites using 309 tonnes of wood. Before the corona outbreak, about 250-300 tonnes of wood was being used in the 16 ghats for the last rites. Apart from wood, gowris (cow dung logs) were also used in large scale for the last rites. Moreover, last rites of 30-40 bodies were performed in diesel and electric furnaces at the crematoriums in April.