At a time when the covid pandemic spreading like a wildfire in Visakhapatnam, owners of the ambulance and the persons who are performing the last rites of persons who died of the covid-19 are indulging in unethical and unscrupulous activities by way of charging a hefty amount for doing things. Kin of the deceased complaining that most of them are acting like middlemen allegedly charging Rs. 20,000 for shifting the body by ambulance to performing rites at the crematorium.
On average, 65 bodies are arriving at Gnanapuram every day and with this, workers at the crematorium citing lame excuses like shortage of wood and diesel to perform the final rites. 80 percent of the family members were reportedly paying the amount being demanded by middlemen to avoid arguments during the final rites.
Even the cremation of those who died of coronavirus became an unending saga of crisis as the travails of the relatives were continuing even after losing their near and dear. It was a common scene everywhere as the relatives struggled for oxygen and injections while their family member was undergoing treatment and continued to suffer shedding tears even at the crematoriums. The relatives did not even have a chance to see the corpses of their family members.
Although the problem was persisting across the state, the plight of the people of Visakhapatnam district was miserable. In the wake of the corona epidemic, the people were spending millions of rupees on tests, medicine, medication and food. Lamenting about the things, Kavati Rama Rao, a senior citizen from Akkyyapalem, said the police administration should immediately take stringent action against those who are charging more than the GVMC’s prescribed amount of Rs. 3,000 for all the procedures at the cremation ground. Mr. Rao also urged the members of diseased lode complaints in the toll-free number 180042500009 to enable the police to catch hold of the culprits.
The corpses reaching Gnanapuram crematorium every day include 3 to 5 orphaned bodies. The number was growing massively after the corona devastation. The bodies were being cremated day and night. Starting from transporting vehicles to wood required for the pyre, the relatives have to spend huge amounts. Even the cremation became a costly affair in the district. One can guess how the catastrophic situation prevailing in Vizag with the corona pandemic.