Rows of burning pyres in Lucknow showcase corona tragedy


Lucknow, April 15 : At first glance, it seemed like a unique fire show. The huge crowds that had lined up on the opposite river bank, only added to the element of curiosity. Half an hour before the curfew deadline began, people stopped by to ask the crowds about the 'fire show' and when told, they stopped in their tracks. The 'fire show', on Wednesday night was actually a series of pyre burning the dead. The Lucknow Municipal Corporation, on Wednesday, increased the number of pyre platforms after being slammed for the long queues of families that waited for hours to cremate the deceased persons. The authorities had even brought in additional wood to cope with the constant influx of dead bodies - both Covid victims and non-Covid. Officials sources claimed that 14 deaths had been reported in the state capital on Wednesday but Munna, who works at the Baikunth Dham cremation ground, said on Thursday morning that 46 bodies had been cremated on Wednesday. "I have never seen so many bodies in a single day here. I have been working here since the past six years," he said. According to official figures, 124 persons have died due to Covid in the past one week but the workers at the two cremation grounds -- Baikunth Dham and Gulala Ghat -- claimed that they had cremated 400 bodies during this period which implies that 276 deaths were not reported. A senior official, who did not wish to be named, said that a sizeable number of bodies being cremated in Lucknow were coming from the adjoining districts. "Besides, there are cases where people have died at home and the family has not reported," he said. Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma said, "Our death data includes those who were admitted to hospitals or were registered with the Chief Medical Officer (CMO). There are several cases where people bring the dead form other districts and go straight to the cremation ground." /IANS


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