The West Bengal government on Friday issued an order stating that last rites of all COVID-19 victims will be carried out free of cost amid complaints of fleecing by middlemen at crematoriums and burial grounds. According to the government order, the urban development and municipal affairs department has appointed nodal officers for all 124 municipal corporations in the state's 23 districts, including Kolkata, to supervise the cremation and burial processes.
Also, coordinators have been appointed for arranging hearses for the deceased. "There were reports that middlemen at crematoriums and burial grounds are fleecing families of COVID-19 victims.
After conducting a probe into the matter, the department has decided to appoint nodal officers to supervise the cremation process," a senior official said. A state control room number (033-2214-1995) and another helpline (18004191198) have been launched by the department to answer people's queries and address their grievances, he added.