Centre directs States to prevent dumping of dead bodies in Ganga and focus on their safe disposal

Centre directs States to prevent dumping of dead bodies in Ganga and focus on their safe disposal

Hummingbird News Desk

NEW DELHI, 16 MAY: The union government directed states to prevent dumping of dead bodies in Ganga and focus on their safe disposal and providing support for ensuring dignified cremation.

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It said dumping of dead bodies or partially burnt corpses in the river Ganga and its tributaries is most undesirable and alarming.

The Centre’s order comes amid reports of hundreds of suspected coronavirus-linked dead bodies found floating in river Ganga in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

“Stopping of dumping of dead bodies as well as their safe disposal and protection of water quality has to be attended to on war footing,” Ministry of Jal Shakti said in an official statement.

The government said along with action to stop dumping of dead bodies in river, states were also directed that burying of dead bodies in sand must also be prevented.

It advised states to start a suitable awareness generation program up against the ill effects of such practices.

Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director General, National Mission for Clean Ganga, stated that the situation is being followed up with several districts like Unnao, Kanpur rural, Ghazipur, Balia and Buxar, Saran in Bihar. However, some cases are also reported from other districts as well. He asked the state missions to follow up action taken with all districts.

He said that there is need to strengthen enforcement, maintain vigil and also take proactive action to facilitate and support the families for cremation of dead bodies and asked state missions to specifically report on this. If needed, Project Directors can assess and also give support to District Ganga Committees for this out of NMCG funds available with them while keeping NMCG informed.

Rajnish Dubey, Addl Chief Secretary, Urban Development and Anurag Shrivastava, Principal Secretary, Jal Shakti, Government of Uttar Pradesh shared that similar orders for financial support of Rs 5000 have also been issued by Panchayati Raj Department for rural areas, similar to urban areas, and SDRF and other forces have also been asked to do patrolling.

Anand Kishore, Principle Secretary, Urban Development and Project Director, State Ganga Mission, Government of Bihar informed that the state has decided that cremation or burial of people dying due to COVID-19 and in such situations as above, will be borne by the Bihar government.

He added that even if the deceased did not have ‘positive’ report of infection and had shown corona symptoms the family will be offered this support. He also said that patrolling is being done to prevent further dumping of dead bodies in the river, especially in sensitive districts like Buxar and Saran (Chhapra). A mahajaal is being used at Buxar to locate and take out dead bodies. He was asked to keep vigil on bridges and other vulnerable areas including districts down stream.

State pollution control boards were directed to improve and make more frequent water quality monitoring in consultations with the health department. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) was assigned the task of over-all monitoring and giving guidance to state pollution control boards and to take up advanced analysis in the matter.

“Support for cremation needs to be given top priority for safe and dignified cremation. Effective implementation of the Centre’s orders needs to be ensured and no loss of time should take place in implementation,” Centre told states.

India reported 311,170 new positive cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours. Country’s death toll rose to 270,284 with 4,077 new fatalities.

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