Due to the shortage of hearses, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) will be converting ten school buses into hearse vans amid a spike in Covid cases and deaths.
The required changes will be made to the bus for its functioning as hearses, said, officials.
Recently, PMC requested the regional transport office, and it has been decided that the buses which are non-functional for over a year due to the closure of schools, will be used for the purpose.
As hearse vans are not available, in some cases, people are forced to carry dead bodies to crematoriums in their private vehicles. With ambulance charging more than regular rates, the civic body has decided to use private old school buses and Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) school buses.
“With the surge in death rate, many people are not able to get hearse vans on time or have to wait for a long time. If they hire an ambulance service, they have to shell out more money. It is important for PMC to have other options,” said an officer from the health department on the request of anonymity.
“The buses will be used either as ambulances or hearses, as per requirement. The drivers union have also supported the cause. Last year many were not willing to come voluntarily, but this time all have agreed,” said Sanjay Sasane, deputy regional transport officer.
PMC will pay service charges to drivers and provide PPE kits.
PMPML has already provided six “Pushpak Shavahinis” (hearses), which are taking bodies to crematoriums.
News Source: Hindustan Times