A day after crematorium staff complained about dead bodies lining up even at the midnight, and fatigue, Karnataka Revenue Minister R. Ashoka on Thursday said that government has identified a four-acre land in Tavarekere in Bengaluru western suburb which will be opened for cremation of Covid-19 dead bodies.
After attending the meeting virtually with the Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa here, the minister told reporters that the government was in search of land that should be in the vicinity of Bengaluru where dead bodies could be cremated openly.
“This four acre land is already a functional cemetery, here we stocked 20 truck loads of firewood and sunk-in borewell too besides drawing up power lines," he added.
He said that this new facility would help to reduce queues at various crematoriums that are overcrowded with bodies.
Ashoka claimed that the new cremation ground can handle 50-60 bodies on a daily basis and as per traditions and it will be open for the public from Friday itself.
“Even though we have stocked 20 truck loads of firewood, We have taken steps to arrange 100 loads of firewood by cutting down eucalyptus trees," he said.
Apart from this, the minister said that the state government had also identified another 100-acre land about three km from Tavarekere which would be ready by this weekend.
Besides opening up two cremation grounds, the minister observed that the government’s decision to allow bereaved families to bury or cremate in their own land would certainly reduce burden on overcrowded cremation facilities in Bengaluru.
Rebutting that number of deaths being manipulated by the government, Ashoka said that dead bodies from surrounding areas which are within the radius of 15-20 km from Bengaluru are coming to utilise cremation facilities in Bengaluru has led to over crowd.
“For the sole reason of burning bodies, people are getting them to Bengaluru from hospitals located in a 15-20 km radius. That’s why there’s this burden. Rural Covid-19 patients from Magadi, Ramanagara, Channapatna and Devanahalli are coming to the city for hospitalisation," he said.
On April 20, Ashoka had directed district administrations in the state to identify government land to perform the cremation of Covid-19 patients.
This decision had come after crematoriums in Bengaluru reported long queues and a influx of dead bodies in front of crematoriums.