Maintaining that civic authorities should continue to follow guidelines for handling and disposal of bodies of Covid-19 victims to preserve the dignity of all citizens, the Bombay High Court on Friday said safety of persons involved in conducting last rites should be ensured and that no citizen staying near crematoriums should be put at “unnecessary distress”.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice N J Jamadar was hearing a plea by activist and former journalist Ketan Tirodkar – filed through advocate Aparna Vhatkar – alleging serious lapses in overburdened city crematoriums, including Shivaji Park, Sion and Chandanwadi, and that smoke from the crematoriums were causing problems to residents staying in the neighbourhood.
Senior Counsel Anil Sakhare, apperaring for BMC, submitted that the civic body was following guidelines laid down by World Health Organisation and central government agencies for safe disposal of bodies of Covid-19 victims.
“The staff, driver and the attendant transporting bodies from the concerned hospital to the crematorium are provided with safety gears and undergo regular thermal screening… throat swabs are also taken for Covid-19 tests,” Sakhare said.
HC, while dismissing the plea, noted that authorities were scrupulously following guidelines. “We, however, hope and trust that the corporation shall continue to earnestly adhere to and enforce the extant guidelines so that life of each and every citizen is preserved and that they are not put to unnecessary distress as a result of the contagion,” it added.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines