Pressure on Nigambodh Ghat to be eased; EDMC, SDMC to augment cremation sites: Official

New Delhi, Jun 8 (PTI) Pressure on Nigambodh Ghat crematorium will be eased as the corporations in east and south Delhi have decided to 'augment' cremation sites, a top NDMC official said on Monday.

NDMC Standing Committee Chairman Jai Prakash said this after visiting the Nigambodh Ghat crematorium.

'Our cremation site (Nigambodh) has been getting bodies from all parts of Delhi leading to pile-up in performing last rites of people who have died of COVID or other reasons. Now, EDMC and SDMC have decided to augment their sites, so it will ease the burden on our site,' he said.

As Nigambodh Ghat is an ancient ghat on the banks of Yamuna river and considered a holy site, a large number people from Delhi and even outside prefer to cremate their family members here, he added.

Prakash said, the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) has a cremation site in Karkardooma and now two others -- Ghazipur and Seemapuri -- have been chosen.

Similarly, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) too will 'expand its sites', he said.

However, there was no official confirmation from the EDMC and SDMC.

According to Prakash, Nigambodh Ghat site has six CNG-based crematoriums, four of which are functional and all are being used for cremating bodies of COVID-19 victims only.

Besides, it has 102 units based on wood pyres, and 50 per cent of those have been dedicated for burning bodies of only COVID-19 victims to avoid mixing, he said.

Asked about reports that ash of a coronavirus patient in an open wood pyre-based cremation can infect others, he said, 'It is not correct'.

'We took the opinion of national-level experts, who told us that when bodies are burnt at very high level of temperature, the virus gets incinerated, so no need to worry,' he claimed.

Delhi recorded 1,007 fresh coronavirus cases on Monday taking the COVID-19 tally in the city to over 29,000-mark, and the death toll due to the disease mounted to 874, authorities said. PTI KND RHL