As a measure of relief for the poor in peripheral areas who cannot afford private hearse services, three new mortuary vans have been commissioned for the district to provide free transportation of bodies. The mortuary vans are expected to be stationed at Manapparai District Headquarters Hospital, Srirangam Hospital, and Thuraiyur hospital, T.Mohanasundaram, Joint Director, Health Services, told The Hindu. Registration procedures are yet to be completed, after which the vans would be operated by the Indian Red Cross Society. It is hoped the hearses would rise to the need of rural poor for transporting bodies from the hospital to the residence or place of cremation.

The new vans will ply in addition to the two existing ones stationed at Annal Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital, said Chandrasekaran, district secretary, Indian Red Cross, Tiruchi Chapter.

The only condition for availing the free hearse service is that the deceased should have undergone treatment in a government treating centre. The vans provide transportation to any destination within Tamil Nadu and can be availed through toll-free number 155377.

Taking into considerations the number of road traffic accidents on the Tiruchi-Dindigul NH , a 108 ambulance has been stationed near Manapparai to ensure speedy care to accident victims, Dr.Mohanasundaram added.