Rajawadi Hospital mortuary AC trips, corpses shifted

Tuesday, 31 December 2013 - 10:15am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
Post-mortem centre with a capacity to store 42 bodies shut.

On Saturday, when Nirmala Sharma (28) was declared dead due to 100 per cent burns in the BMC-run Rajawadi Hospital, her neighbours wanted the body to be kept in mortuary till her parents arrived from Uttar Pradesh.

Their request could not be granted as the post-mortem centre of the hospital was shut for repair.

“In spite of wheeling in the body to the centre, we were asked to ferry it to the mortuary of the state-run JJ Hospital. This caused immense inconvenience to Nirmala’s relatives,” said Mohsin Chaudhari, a local social worker at Narayannagar, Ghatkopar West.

The state post-mortem centre’s mortuary, which has a capacity to store 42 bodies, was closed two days ago after doctors noticed non-maintenance of adequate temperatures.

“Ideally, bodies are preserved  at -4 degree Celsius. Since the past two days, this temperature is not being maintained and the AC plant has been shut for repair work. Meanwhile, we are performing  post-mortems and handing over bodies over to the bereaved families if they are present to claim it. We are unable to store unclaimed bodies as preservation facilities are unavailable,” said a doctor.

“With morgues shut, all unclaimed bodies and those requiring preservation are being transferred to JJ,” said a doctor.

The home department runs four post-mortem centres in Mumbai. They are attached to JJ Hospital in Byculla, Rajawadi Hospital in Vidyavihar, Cooper Hospital in Vile Parle and Bhagwati Hospital in Borivili.

Of the four, the ones in Rajawadi and Cooper are the worst. Here, AC plants have not been replaced since the past 30 years.

“There has also been a gas leakage from AC pipes. Each kilo of gas costs up to Rs600. The compressor needs to be changed every five years, but these plants haven’t been refurbished for years,” said an AC technician from the post-mortem centre.

Doctors said once the gas leakage is fixed, mortuaries will be up and running. However, they refused to specify a date.

Post-mortem centres at Rajawadi and Cooper Hospital require urgent repairs as also fitting of new air-condition plants as the current ones have aged beyond repair. The AC plants keep breaking down time and again raising a foul stench in the hospital as bodies continue to decompose or rot during transfer to other morgues.

“A proposal worth at least Rs2 crore for revamping the AC facilities at the post-mortem centres in Cooper and Rajawadi was sent to the home department last year. It is still pending approval,” said police surgeon SM Patil.

Sorry state of affairs
The state post-mortem centre’s mortuary, which has a capacity to store 42 bodies, was closed two days ago after doctors noticed non-maintenance of adequate temperatures. 

The morgues in Rajawadi and Cooper Hospitals are the worst. AC plants have not been replaced since the past 30 years. Post-mortem centres here require urgent repairs as also fitting of new air-condition plants as the current ones have aged beyond repair. The AC plants keep breaking down time and again raising a foul stench in the hospital as bodies continue to decompose.


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