Mr Zaveri further pointed out that there are families of victims who hail from outside Mumbai.
Mumbai: The morgue at state-run GT Hospital in south Mumbai has been non-operational for the last eight months, forcing its administration to send bodies requiring autopsy to the state–run JJ Hospital instead.
According to an official, the cooling system at the GT Hospital’s morgue broke down eight months ago, rendering it incapable of maintaining the temperature required for preserving bodies.
The hospital is yet to get funds to repair the said cooling system, the source further added. The GT Hospital morgue, which is built to handle eight bodies at any given point of time, has to be kept at a temperature of around four degrees celsius so that the bodies remain in good condition till the relatives can be located. “We are yet to get around Rs 8.5 lakh required to repair the morgue’s cooling system,” the source said.
A Right to Information petition filed by Sameer Zaveri revealed that the mortuary has been shut since May 25, 2016 and to repair the same would cost a sum of Rs 8.22 lakh.
Speaking to The Asian Age, Mr Zaveri said, “It appears to me that the government is not at all serious at reopening the mortuary to redress problems of preserving dead bodies especially the unclaimed cases of railway accidents.”
Mr Zaveri further pointed out that there are families of victims who hail from outside Mumbai, who would need at least two-three days to reach the morgue.
“JJ Hospital itself is full with its own capacity and once the bodies are kept at JJ, the doctors at GT completely forget about it and do not even bother to follow up,” Mr Zaveri said.
In cases where no relatives of the deceased come forward to claim the body, the corpse is disposed off after a period of seven days after a post-mortem examination is done. In either condition, the body needs to be kept for a minimum period of seven days, and the only option right now is to keep them at JJ Hospital.
Dr Mukund Tayade, medical superintendent at GT Hospital, asserted that things would take at least six to eight weeks to start functioning and that he is personally monitoring the situation.
“We have sent a proposal to the concerned department. Once the tender opens, we can expect to have some assertive response.”