Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Dec 6:
Believe it or not, rumours of ghosts marauding near the Anatomy department of Odisha’s premier medical college –SCB Medical College and Hospital (SCBMH) during the night, has scared away three batches of labourers engaged in the construction of the new mortuary building, leaving the work half-way.
As a result, construction work of the new mortuary building has come to a halt for about a month and a half.
However, it remains to be ascertained whether these incidents are true or are cases of hallucination.
Construction of new mortuary is underway near the Anatomy department inside the SCBMH campus and arrangements were made in a nearby hall for the stay of labourers engaged in the construction work.
But three batches of labourers have left the place alleging seeing ghosts and hearing eerie sounds during the night.
SCBMH authorities had floated a tender for construction of a mortuary in the month of August this year. A contractor Sunil Kumar Das of Mangalabag area had got the contract to construct the building at an estimated cost of Rs 11 lakh. While work on the project started in October, as per the tender agreement it has to be completed within four months.
Das had got a five member labourer team from West Bengal for the construction work. These labourers had put up a camp near the project site for their stay during the job.
Three days after start of work on the project these labourers at around 11 PM heard sounds of three/four persons running on the asbestos roof of the camp. Trees shook and sound of somebody crying from inside the room where bodies are stored inside the Anatomy department were heard.
After repeat of similar occurrences these labourers fled the site with a feeling that the place was haunted. Again after a gap of few days, another batch of labourers came to work; they too fled the project site making similar allegations.
“A third group of labourers has also left the site being scared of ghosts, as a result work on the project has come to a halt for about a month and a half. Even I have myself experienced that late in the night,” said contractor Das.
“ Relatives of patients have told me that in the mid of the night an old man sporting long beard and hair comes out of the Anatomy department after roaming around the old building of the Skin department and again returns to Anatomy department,” narrated Pradipta Kumar Rath, a security guard who works in the night shift.
“While I was sleeping one night somebody woke me up complaining that someone has taken his belongings. Waking up from my sleep I followed the man, he entered the Anatomy department through the iron grill which was locked. It made my blood run cold. Since them I have stopped doing night shifts,” said another security guard who used to do night shifts at the nearby diarrhea ward.
Post-mortem centre is situated a little away from the mortuary room. Labourers watching several bodies coming for post-mortem every day to the post-mortem centre could have led to illusions among them is nothing unusual, feel experts. Moreover, non-existence of lights on the stretch between the Anatomy department and the post-mortem centre with the area sinking into darkness after sunset has added to the eerie experience while has turning it out into a safe haven for anti-socials.
“It is not appropriate to create fear of ghosts. I have no reports of construction work of the mortuary building to have stopped. Steps will be taken for putting up lights in the area,” said Dr Pratap Rath, superintendent SCBMH.