Allegations of Imphal Municipality Corporation demanding fees for cremation of COVID victims. IMC denies.

Allegations of Imphal Municipality Corporation demanding fees for cremation of COVID victims. IMC denies.

Imphal, December 01 2020:There has been allegations of Imphal Municipal Corporation is demanding fees for cremation of COVID-19 victims. The fees are claimed towards disposing the bodies and performing last rites of victims.

Highlighting one such incident at Manipur Press Club today, cultural activist Rakesh Naorem alleged that IMC has imposed labour and cremation charges amounting Rs 15,000 from a family of those who died from COVID-19.

While maintaining that imposing such fees and putting burden on the bereaved family instead of extending support is something undesirable, Activist drew the attention of the State Government to intervene in the matter.

Earlier Mnaipur government assured to bear costs of the precautionary measures taken in cremation of persons who died of COVID-19 and to reimburse the charges which were taken earlier. In total contradiction, Jamandar of IMC had charged Rs 15,000 for cremating a COVID victim, Sanabam Tombi Singh (90) from Wangkhei Pukhrambam yesterday, he alleged.

Spouse of one Sanasam Romeba of Tentha Khongbal who also succumbed to the virus at JNIMS on November 2, had also earlier decried IMC for imposing the same amount for cremating her husband.

Not only this, many people across the State have expressed their resentment over the issue, he continued while urging the State Government to lay out a comprehensive policy in view of the situation and not to add burden to the mourning family. He also appealed to the State Government to set up a COVID-19 specific cremation facility.

Joining the press meet via video conference, the daughter of the deceased person Sanabam Tombi Singh, who breathed his last at RIMS Hospital due to COVID-19 on November 29, Dr Thaninleima questioned all concerned whether the corpse of an individual will be left unattended if the family of the deceased fails to manage the amount they are charging for cremation.

Lamenting that the Government has not kept its word, she also appealed to the State Government to address the issue at the earliest.

She also asked why it took so long for RIMS authority to report the death to the DC causing delay and inconvenience to the family in performing last rites.

There is also a custom of fasting till the cremation process is over, she reminded while urging all to ensure such delay in submitting report and delivery of the mortal remains do not happen in the future.

IMC denies allegation of taking fees for cremation of COVID victims

The Imphal Municipal Corporation (IMC) has clarified that it has never taken fees from any of the deceased families due to COVID-19.

In a press meet, Hijam Nutanchandra, the Chairperson of Public Health and Sanitation Committee.

IMC stated that IMC has never taken Rs 15,000 from any of the deceased families due to COVID-19 . The said amount is handed by the Deputy Commissioner (DC) concerned for performing the last rites of the deceased due to COVID-19.He said that it’s really unfortunate that IMC takes money from the deceased families is doing the round.

When any casualties occur due to COVID-19 the IO of unclaimed dead bodies Anwar Ali has performed the last rites of more than 150 bodies.

To perform the last rites the respective DC hands over Rs 15,000 to IMC to be used in buying the woods, kerosene, to buy the ritual items, to sanitize the dead bodies and to pay any other person who is ready to take part, he added.

Regarding this amount there is no receipt or TR from the IMC’s side, he stated.

Without proper knowledge and no thorough investigation it is wrong to diminish the efforts of the dedicated staff and officers of IMC who are COVID warriors by spreading false news and appealed to the concerned not to repeat such acts in future.

It is high time that the public acknowledge the contributions of the persons performing the last rites of Covid casualties and questioned who will voluntarily come up to take such responsibilities in case they don’t.Lastly he urged not to shame the IMC amid the difficult time of the ongoing pandemic.