There is no information available about the number of dead bodies found floating on the Ganga during the peak of the second Covid wave, the government said in the Rajya Sabha on Monday.
Junior Jal Shakti Minister Bishweswar Tudu said: “Information regarding number of COVID-19 related dead bodies estimated to have been dumped in the river Ganga is not available.”
The admission was in response to a question from Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien, who also sought information on steps taken to dispose of the bodies in accordance with Covid protocols.
The same ‘no records available’ response of the government was seen in a written reply to a question posed by BJP Rajya Sabha MP Mahesh Poddar on the number of deaths due to oxygen shortage over the last one year, minister of state Bharati Pravin Pawar said, “health is a state subject. Government of India has maintained data of total cases and deaths reported by states/ UTs on a regular basis. Accordingly, Union government has requested states/UTs to furnish the details as asked for. Few states/UTs have responded and none of the state/UT has reported death due to oxygen shortage.”
It has triggered a political storm as the Opposition alleged the Centre was trying to hide facts.