Civic agency extends Rs 500 incentive to workers for each Covid, non-Covid body cremated
Considering the large number of Covid-19 deaths reported in Bengaluru city in the last couple of days and also to prevent a crush of ambulances outside crematoriums, BBMP has decided to utilise all its 12 crematoriums to cremate bodies of Covid patients, alongside non-Covid cremations.
Further, BBMP has decided to extend incentives of Rs 500 for crematorium staff for each Covid and even non-Covid body cremated.
Earlier, in July last year, BBMP had promised the same incentive for every Covid-19 body disposed of, but the order remained on paper. In fact, not only were salaries of workers held up, even the incentives did not materialise.
Earlier incentives unpaid
Speaking to TheBengaluruLive, D Randeep, Additional Commissioner (Admin & SWM) said BBMP was aware of the fact that that incentives pertaining to the first wave had not been paid to these workers and health workers, and the Medical Officer, Health has been asked to clear these dues till March 31, 2021.
With effect from April 1, 2021, these incentives will be paid from the Electrical Department, Randeep said.
Considering the large number of deaths reported in the last few days, the civic agency will now allow both Covid and non-Covid bodies to be cremated in all its 12 crematoriums.
BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta chaired a meeting of all Zonal Commissioners on Wednesday morning at the head office and directed the use of all civic crematoriums for disposal of both Covid and non-Covid bodies.
Burden on system
On Monday, Bengaluru reported 97 Covid deaths, and on Tuesday 92 Covid deaths. This has put a burden on crematoriums and has forced relatives to wait for hours and even days to cremate their loved ones.
Considering the burden on the system, Revenue Minister R Ashoka has also directed the Bengaluru Urban district administration to make use of government-owned empty land on the outskirts of the city to cremate Covid bodies.
Gupta instructed civic electrical engineers to ensure that furnaces at crematoriums work at optimum capacity. “If even minor repairs have to be undertaken at a crematorium, it has to be shut for at least three months. BBMP cannot take a chance with crematoriums breaking down at this stage when the Covid second wave is at its peak,” said an engineer.