A park is being developed at a crematorium in Bhopal using the ashes of those who died after contracting the coronavirus infection during the second wave of the pandemic this year.
The park is being developed at the Bhadbhada Vishram Ghat with 21 truckloads of ashes of Covid victims, which were kept at the facility as families failed to collect it due to the virus-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 died due to the pandemic, an office-bearer of the crematorium's management committee said.
"Over 6,000 bodies were cremated at Bhadbhada Vishram Ghat with strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocols during a 90-day period from March 15 to June 15. Most of the family members collected the bones but left the ashes due to the coronavirus-induced restrictions," Mamtesh Sharma, the crematorium's management committee secretary told news agency PTI.
"Due to this, 21 truckloads of ashes of the dead were left at 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, we decided to develop a park with the ashes," he 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, Mamtesh Sharma said.
This garden is being developed using Japan's "Miyawaki technique", through which about 3,500-4,000 plants can be accommodated, he said.
Mr Sharma said that with this technique, the 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 alive by developing a 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 will start tomorrow.
"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 period," he said.