Tinsukia: From extension of the cremation ground to setting up new pyres, the Tinsukia district administration is bracing itself to deal with the rising COVID-related deaths amid the devastating second wave of the pandemic, which has left crematoriums “overcrowded” in Assam.
The development comes at a time when images of “crammed” cremation grounds with bodies piled up across cities in the country are making headlines.
“We are setting up three gas-based pyres at Bajaltoli-Hengalguri cremation ground at Borguri, on the outskirts of Tinsukia town, to brace ourselves for the volatile situation,” Anil Chandra Das, additional deputy commissioner of Tinsukia told EastMojo.
Das said the Tinsukia Municipal Board (TMB), under instructions from the district administration, is the agency tasked to develop the infrastructure of cremation of COVID-19 victims in the shortest possible time. “We are hopeful that the new pyres will be functional in the coming week, and will serve the residents of Tinsukia post the COVID-19 era.”
Bajaltoli-Hengalguri cremation ground, spread across a large area with bounded wall, has a single wood-based cremation bed.
On Friday, Tinsukia witnessed the death of 10 COVID-19 positive patients — the highest single-day toll in the district so far — in the last 24 hours. However, the official bulletin issued by National Health Mission in Tinsukia listed only five deaths.
A source in the civic body told this correspondent that the work for fabrication of cremation bed is underway. “Oil India Limited (OIL) has donated special quality pipes for this purpose,” he said, adding, “These are tampered pipes, which can resist heat up to 800 degrees Celsius, and are not readily available in the local market even at higher prices.”
Assam Gas Company Limited (AGCL) has already completed the work of laying gas pipeline till the cremation ground at Borguri, the source said.
The source, on the condition of anonymity, added that two more gas-based pyres will be extended at the existing cremation ground at college road near Katchujan field in Tinsukia town.
The exponential surge in COVID-related deaths in the state has led to panic among residents. On Friday, Assam registered 76 deaths, much higher than the highest single-day deaths state witnessed during the peak of first wave of COVID-19.