In order to preserve unclaimed dead bodies of accident victims for a longer time, a city-based activist has donated an air-conditioned coffin to Palghar railway police.
Mumbai resident Bhavesh Patel donated the AC coffin, which runs on electricity and can preserve a body for a fortnight, on Friday.
Palghar railway police area, which became the first in the country to have such a coffin, covers nine stations on Western Railway between Saphale Road to Bordi.
An official with Palghar railway police said, "In 2019, a total of 76 bodies have been brought to Palghar station. Almost half of them are still unclaimed. Such an AC coffin will help us preserving bodies for a longer period of time."
Usually, GRP keeps unclaimed dead bodies for 15 days after which they are buried in case there are no claimants, he said.
Speaking about what prompted him to arrange an AC coffin, Mr Patel said in 2017, Palghar railway police had buried an unidentified railway accident victim after waiting 10 days for his kin to turn up.
"When his family members turned up after a fortnight to claim the body, the cops had to exhume highly decomposed remains. It came to my notice and I decided to arrange an AC coffin to preserve the bodies for a longer duration," Patel said.
He said he has launched an initiative called "dignity for the dead", the aim of which is to provide such AC coffins to other railway police stations in Mumbai and nearby areas facing a shortage of morgues.