Dead bodies fight for space in Goa, 70 bodies lying unclaimed

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 06 August 2015 14:13 IST

Total 70 dead bodies, including 33 foreigners, are lying unclaimed in the morgues of Goa while almost 163 cabinets are not in a working condition.

Only 132 cabinets and racks are available to store the dead bodies with a provision to store only 62 dead bodies, mainly because of the unclaimed bodies.

The rest 163 cabinets built to store the dead bodies are not working.

One of the dead bodies is lying unclaimed for almost five years now.

This shocking information was provided by health minister Francis D’Souza to the Assembly today.

Replying to Porvorim MLA Rohan Khaunte’s question, D’Souza said most of these bodies are lying in the morgue either because they are not claimed or because their deaths are medico-legal cases.

“We are facing problems since many dead bodies of foreigners, mostly from UK, are lying unclaimed”, said D’Souza.

He has however now agreed to opposition leader Pratapsing Rane’s suggestion to write to the respective embassies to either take the bodies or it would be disposed.

With a new morgue of 108 cabinets built at the Goa Medical College not functioning for over a year now, the health minister has also agreed to Khaunte’s demand to conduct an inquiry by the Chief Secretary.

He has also agreed to tell the CS to conduct inquiry into why the consultant could not provide technological solution to overcome the deadlock when the government has spent around Rs 4.5 crore on the consultant.

 

D’Souza agreed that the full new unit of 108 cold storage cabinets is lying idle due to malfunctioning.

“Is it lying non-functional due to ego issues of the supplier and the GSIDC?”, asked Khaunte.

The old morgue with 61 cabinets, said the minister, can store only 28 bodies right now.

The GMC authorities are thus using the mass casualty cold storage of the new morgue to store 35 bodies in the cabinets.

As dead bodies keep on mounting, the GMC is right now storing 15 dead bodies on tray on the floor and 20 more in the cold storage meant to store only body parts.

Khaunte as well as Fatorda MLA Vijay Sardesai disagreed with the minister that morgues of North Goa district hospital (12 bodies) and Margao Hospicio (18) are in a functional state.

“Only the T B hospital morgue with the capacity of 20 bodies is functional”, said Sardesai.

The minister admitted that another morgue at sub-district Hospital in Ponda, having capacity for 20 bodies, is also not functioning.

Though D’Souza agreed to conduct inquiry into the whole issue, he felt it would be resolved only when the technical problems are solved, not by conducting inquiry. 

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