New Delhi [India], Dec 9 (ANI): After a massive fire in Delhi's Anaj Mandi left 43 dead, the kin of some deceased were left distraught after they could not get ambulances to take bodies of their loved ones home.
"I was not aware of the incident until I came here. The government had earlier announced that all facilities and ambulances would be provided for the deceased, but now the police have told us to arrange an ambulance ourselves," Mohd. Mustakim, whose brother Mohd. Afsar died in the incident, told ANI Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital.
The family lost money and son in the inferno that gutted the three-storeyed building, posing a challenge for a decent burial to their loved one.
As many as 43 people died after a fire ripped through a factory at Anaj Mandi on Rani Jhansi Road in the early hours of Sunday.
Mohammed Shabbir, a resident of Bihar, had come across the same problem while taking his deceased son Mukhiya to his native village.
"The post-mortem process of my son is completed, but I have been told to arrange an ambulance to take his body. I am a very poor person, so I cannot afford to arrange an ambulance. Unless the government pays me compensation, I am helpless in this case," he said.
The LNJP hospital has two ambulances and two hearse vans.
"CATS office is located within the premises of Lok Nayak Hospital and regional Trauma centre where 2 ambulances are available round the clock. For more ambulances we contact CATS. Ambulance services are available on payment of Rs. 300/- upto 15 Km and Rs. 800 for 30 Km and above. These services are free for poor patient, MLCs and unknown patients," the LNJP website states.
But considering the massive patient footfall at the centrally located government-run hospital, the fleet is not enough to sustain the rush.
Cutting across party lines, political leaders rushed to meet the injured and announce compensation to the victims. While Delhi government announced Rs 10 lakh assistance to the kin of the deceased and Rs 1 Lakh for the injured, the Delhi BJP decided to give Rs 5 lakh to the family who lost a loved one and Rs 25,000 to the injured.
For some, dealing with hospital staff was no less an ordeal.
Mohammed Javed, who lost his younger brother and some relatives in the incident, has not yet been allowed to see the bodies of his family members.
"I called my brother, whose call was picked up an ambulance driver. The driver informed me that he was injured and unconscious and told me to come to the hospital. Then they stopped picking up my calls. So I came from Hyderabad to see my brother," he said.
Javed had arrived from Hyderabad with a friend, further stated that he and his friend were given different token numbers to see his family members.
"The behaviour of the police in the hospital is not right," he said.
As probe begins and the case is transferred to crime branch, for many like Javed, it seems a long road ahead- a struggle to receive compensation and closure. (ANI)