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Jagannathprasad, Jan 16: Even as the state government has launched free hearse service under the ‘Mahaprayan’ Yojana for free transportation of bodies from gov-ernment hospitals to their homes, the service continues to elude the needy and the deserving in Ganjam district, a report said.
The matter came to the fore after relatives carried the body of Nilamadhab Pradhan, 70, of Jirabadi village on a motorcycle to his residence due to unavail-ability of a hearse van under the Mahaprayan Yojana.
Pradhan died of cardiac arrest while he was un-dergoing treatment at the Jagannathprasad Community Health Centre (CHC) in Ganjam district. Family members asked the hos-pital authorities to arrange a gov-ernment-run Mahaprayanvehicle or an ambulance to transport the body back to their house.
However the authorities expressed inabil-ity to arrange a hearse van due to unavailability of the vehicle at the hospital. Moreover, it was not pos-sible for an ambulance to reach the CHC ftomBhanjanagaz alleged the family.
Family members con-tacted private auto-rickshaws in the hospital but the latter demanded Rs 2,000 to carry the body to their home around 2 km Left with no options, the family members carried the body on a mo-torcycle for more than 2 km to reach
Jiribadi where his last rites were conducted
. This sparked resent-ment among onlookers as they clicked the photographs and video of the body being ferried on a mo-torcycle which later went viral on social media. When contacted, the medical of-ficer of the CHC said the hospital has no Mahaprayan vehicle while the government has not instructed them to use the 102 and 108 ambu-lances for transportation of bodies to their place of residences.