Idols depicting the present pandemic where Hindu god Ganesh is seen slaying and rescuing mankind from Covid-19 are on display at a Bangalore store on Aug. 1 ahead of the Ganesh Chaturthi Festival. (Photo: Manjunath Kiran/AFP)
Bangalore, the information technology capital of India in the southern state of Karnataka, has decided to allot burial grounds on the outskirts of the city to give decent burials to those who died of Covid-19.
The city corporation — Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) — is to provide 10 new burial grounds on 23 acres of land across five locations. It says the land may be used by all religions and sects that bury their dead.
“Giving land for burials is a big challenge for the government. It is just a plan and we hope that the government fulfills the promise,” Archbishop Peter Machado of Bangalore told UCA News on Aug. 5.
“We have been repeatedly requesting and writing letters to the government, but the government announcement has given us hope that it has understood our difficulties in handling Covid-19 patients.
“Government officials, the administration and even the chief minister are down with Covid-19, so implementation may take some more time.”
BBMP officials say there has been demand for land from various communities in the city who bury the dead but a shortage of burial grounds has forced people to cremate them.
The situation worsened when people residing near burial grounds protested about letting Covid-19 patients be buried there, they said.
“Christians and Muslims do not believe in cremation but now they can give a respectful burial to their near and dear ones who died of Covid-19,” said a BBMP official.
I. Sriramulu, Karnataka’s health minister, has raised concerns over the unscientific disposal of personal protection equipment after burials and has ordered that separate burial grounds be assigned for Covid-19 patients.
The state came under heavy criticism last month when a video appeared on social media showing eight bodies, believed to be of Covid-19 victims, wrapped in plastic before being tossed into a common burial pit in Ballari district.
Karnataka has reported 101,465 Covid-19 cases with 69,272 recoveries and 2,704 deaths.
Meanwhile, according to the federal Health Ministry, India has recorded 857 coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours. As of today, 39,856 had died from the pandemic in India.