Over 35 acres of land in nine villages on the outskirts of Bengaluru city have been earmarked for burial or cremation of bodies of COVID-19 victims in the backdrop of safety concerns raised over funerals held in burial grounds located amidst residential areas.
Deputy Commissioner of Bengaluru Urban District GN Shivamurthy issued an order setting apart about 35.5 acres in the villages under four taluks of Bengaluru North, Bengaluru South, Anekal and Yelahanka.
The order directed the respective Tahsildars to register these chunks of land as reserved for burial grounds and not to use for any purpose.
According to the sources in the district administration, Karnataka Health Minister B Sriramulu and Revenue Minister R Ashoka had directed the officials to identify places on the city outskirts to dispose of the bodies of COVID-19 victims.
Sriramulu had on Wednesday said COVID-19 victims would not be laid to rest in burial grounds in the city and separate places will be earmarked on the outskirts in the backdrop of safety concerns raised by public.
He had also warned against unscientific disposal of used Personal Protection Equipment kits worn by the kin of the dead for the final rites, referring to reports about such instances.
In some places, people have also expressed concern over bodies of those who died of the coronavirus being buried in their neighbourhood.
As of Wednesday, Karnataka has 16,514 COVID-19 cases and the death toll stood at 253.
This development came a day after Karnataka Health Minister B Sriramulu said this would be done to address safety concerns of the public.
It may be recalled how recently a viral video had emerged from Ballari showing questionable behaviour from staff handling the burial of COVID-19 victims and had led to a probe instructed by the Deputy Commissioner. Later a similar video of COVID-19 victims in Yadgir district emerged which showed officials being laid to rest in an undignified manner.