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UP government begins collating data on bodies fished from Ganga

Sources said that this is one of the 7-point on which the state government has sought a “weekly report” from the districts.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: May 22, 2021 7:25:12 am
UP government begins collating data on bodies fished from GangaA boat rows past shallow sand graves on the banks of the Ganga on the outskirts of Prayagraj. (Reuters)

Days after the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) asked a “detailed report” from Uttar Pradesh, the state government on Friday began the exercise of collating district-wise data of “unidentified dead bodies or unclaimed corpses” fished out or recovered from Ganga and its tributaries across the state.

Sources said that this is one of the 7-point on which the state government has sought a “weekly report” from the districts.

In a letter to 72 district magistrates, Achchhe Lal Singh Yadav, Additional Project Director, State Mission for Clean Ganga (SMCG)-Uttar Pradesh, asked them to report the “number of unidentified dead bodies/unclaimed corpses fished out/recovered from river/river bed or bank of the river Ganga and its tributaries and disposed/cremated as per the Standard Operating Procedures and guidelines.”

A source said that the district magistrates have also been asked to send a report on the “Audit of the infrastructure for crematoria/ burial grounds and their utilization.”

Besides, the DMs have also been informed about the NMCG’s directions on “Immediately stopping dumping /burial of dead bodies/ unclaimed or unidentified corpses into river/river bed or bank of the river Ganga and its tributaries.”

Yadav has also asked districts to send a report on “State funded cremation support for safe disposal/cremation of the spotted dead bodies in the river Ganga or buried on the banks of river Ganga in rural/urban areas and details of fund spent.”

The issue of water quality of the rivers has also been flagged in the letter, the source said.

The UP-government’s move comes after the NMCG has held a video conference with the chief secretaries of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar on 15th May and sent a letter to the states on May 20th.

Earlier, the NMCG Director General Rajiv Ranjan Mishra wrote to Chief Secretaries of 5 states– Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal– on May 12, asking them to issue “specific directions” to the concerned district administrations, local bodies and police authorities.

“I write this to underscore the seriousness of the issue and would request you to kindly issue appropriate instructions to the concerned district administrations/local bodies and police authorities to scrupulously comply with the NMCG advisory dated 11.05.2021, as well as take necessary action at your end address the issue at the earliest,” says the letter.

On 11th May, the NMCG had issued an advisory to all 59 District Ganga Committees and asked them to take “necessary action” to address the issue of floating dead bodies in the river Ganga and submit an “action taken report” within 14 days.

“Immediately stop dumping of dead bodies, partially burnt bodies/ unclaimed or unidentified corpses in the river Ganga and its tributaries,” reads the advisory.

The District Ganga Committees are headed by the respective District Collectors and are tasked to ensure “rejuvenation, protection, restoration and rehabilitation of River Ganga and its tributaries” in each specified district.

The NMCG had also asked them to ensure that “all unidentified dead bodies/unclaimed corpses of suspected Covid victims should be properly disposed-off in accordance with the Covid-safety protocol of Government of India guidelines on Covid-19 Dead Body Management.”

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