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'A permanent memory': Uncollected ashes of COVID-19 victims used to develop park in Bhopal

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Bhopal, July 04: The Bhopal administration has come up with a novel idea of developing a park using the ashes of those who died due to COVID-19 infection during the second wave of the pandemic this year.

Representational Image

This idea is being implemented at the Bhadbhada Vishram Ghat using 21 truckloads of the ashes of the dead, which kept lying at the facility as their relatives failed to collect that due to the coronavirus-induced restrictions and its proper disposal posed a challenge before the management.

The park will be developed on 12,000 square feet of land at the crematorium in memory of those who lost their lives due to the pandemic, an office-bearer of the crematorium's management committee said.

"Over 6,000 bodies were cremated at Bhadbhada Vishram Ghat in adherence to COVID-19 protocol during a 90-day period from March 15 to June 15. Most of the family members collected the bones and left the ashes due to the coronavirus-induced restrictions," Mamtesh Sharma, its management committee secretary told PTI.

"Due to this, 21 truckloads of ashes of the deceased were left in the crematorium. It was hard and not environment-friendly to release the ashes into the Narmada river. Doing so could have polluted the river. So, the decision about developing a park using the ashes was taken," he said.

Sharma said a land surface has been developed on 12,000 square feet of land in the crematorium by using the ashes of the dead, soil, cow dung, wood sawdust, sand, among other things, to develop the park.

This garden is being developed using Japan's 'Miyawaki technique', through which about 3,500-4,000 plants can be accommodated, he said.

Sharma said that under this technique, these plants will take 15 to 18 months to grow into a tree.

Committee president Arun Choudhary said the decision was taken to keep the memory of the dead permanent by developing this park in the crematorium campus.

"We have urged the family members of those who lost their lives due to COVID-19, to participate in the plantation work. The management committee will take care of these plants till they grow into a tree," he said.

Committee's treasurer Ajay Dubey said the plantation on the given land will start from July 5.

"The plantation activity will continue from July 5 to 7 and the people of the city can make their contribution by planting saplings during this," he said.

Bhadbhada Vishram Ghat was the only Hindu crematorium for the funeral of COVID-19 patients in Bhopal.

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