So much so, police has roped in NGOs to perform last rites.
Mumbai: State and civic-run morgues in the city are facing a space crunch due to the rising number of unclaimed dead bodies. For instance, Parel’s KEM hospital has around 20 unclaimed bodies even as it has customised metal cabinets for around 26 bodies. As per the Bombay Police Act-Bombay Anatomy Act, unclaimed corpses have to be disposed within 72 hours but there have been instances of keeping such bodies for more than two years, said employees of post-mortem centres. In a relief for these morgues, the Mumbai police has roped in NGOs and social activists who can help perform the last rites of these unclaimed bodies.
The director of major civic-run hospitals Dr Avinash Supe said, “There is a problem related to unclaimed bodies at morgues. For these unclaimed bodies, we are continuously in contact with the police. The process is on for identifying the claimants but the disposal of bodies is slow. We have requested the concerned DCPs about the same.”
When contacted, Mumbai police PRO, DCP Deepak Devraj, said that the unclaimed bodies were a cause for conern. “We keep unknown dead bodies for a few days and then dispose them. We either contact some NGOs or our staff usually does the honours.”
Asked why unclaimed dead bodies remained in certain morgues for years at a stretch, Mr Devraj said, “I need to ask. I don’t know. I need to take a count asking all morgue authorities. I will get back to you on this.”
A police employee, posted in a hospital, said, “The police has too much work, from detection, to nabbing the culprits. If we waste time in looking for claimants of bodies, we will lose precious time. Even then, we put in our best efforts for this. Bodies at the crime scene are especially preserved.”
The city’s 11 morgues include those at Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar, Bhagwati Hospital in Borivali, Vile Parle’s R N Cooper Hospital, J.J. Hospital in south Mumbai, Sion Hospital, Parel’s KEM Hospital, Mumbai Central’s Nair Hospital, Gokuldas Tejpal (GT) Hospital at Crawford Market, St George Hospital at CST, and Goregaon’s Siddharth Hospital.
Cabinet capacity in major civic govt hosp
KEM Hospital 36 cabinets
Sion Hospital 57 cabinets
J J Hospital 75 cabinets
Cooper Hospital 24 cabinets
Shatabdi Hospital 30 cabinets
Rajawadi Hospital 15 cabinets