The Hyderabad police have booked a case against Rainbow Hospital after it was found charging parking fees for visiting patients and their families. The case was registered after complaints were lodged against the hospital by a city-based activist.
The hospital was found to be levying parking fees despite clarifications on the Telangana Government Order (GO) that had made it clear that free parking can be availed by providing hospital bills or Out Patient Department receipts. The case has been registered at the Banjara Hills police station.
The hospital charged Rs 20 for two-wheelers and Rs 50 for four-wheelers with additional parking charges on an hourly basis.
â€śThere are other hospitals such as KIMS, CARE and Apollo who also charging parking fees. Let this case serve as a warning to them,â€ť said Vijay Gopal, an anti-corruption activist from Hyderabad, who had approached the Banjara Hills police on July 11 and filed a petition against Rainbow Hospital for not following the GO.
The activist says the Banjara Hills police booked the case after much deliberation. â€śIt took the police close to a week to register the case. People have been reaching out to the Hyderabad Police via their Twitter handle over this issue,â€ť he added.
Non-compliance with the GO could attract penal action against violators as per the provisions of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) Act 1955.
The GO, which came into effect on April 1, 2018, had made parking free for the first 30 minutes but chargeable afterwards. Parking would still be free if the customer provides a proof of purchase at the establishment.
The need for a GO to provide free parking came after shopping malls and multiplexes started charging exorbitant parking fees. However, stand-alone theatres and hospitals did not implement the GO citing that they do not come under the ambit of the GO.
GHMC, the enforcing authority on the matter, came out with a clarification on April 24, 2018 that the free parking applies to stand-alone theatres, hospitals and others as they are registered commercial establishments. The clarification specifies that free parking can be availed after providing a hospital bill or an Out Patient Department receipt.
GHMC is empowered to do random checks on commercial establishments. Those who find the free parking rule being violated can also raise complaints with them. â€śBut their redressal system is non-responsive, it would be better for the public to reach out to their local police station if they find any establishment violating the free parking rules,â€ť Vijay added.