Nothing it seems would work to ensure that the ‘parking mafia’ active at the Rajindra Hospital is forced to shun its practice of overcharging the parking fee from all vehicles entering the hospital at the main gate itself.
When HT raised the issue in its columns, the management promised action and changed the contractor.
Yet, even the new contractor, who has won the job through bidding, and is paying Rs 1 crore for three years - is overcharging even as he is supposed to charged only the newly revised and increased rates of Rs 10 for four-wheelers, Rs 5 for two wheelers and Rs 3 for cycles.
On Thursday, this HT Correspondent was also charged Rs 20 for a single car entry and any argument with the employee of the contractor bore no fruit as he refused to listen to reason.
Two-wheelers and cars are also being charged double the mandated rates.
This is even as once you enter the parking area, there is no guarantee that you would find space for your vehicle.
No rate list, slips also without amount
An important part of the contract - prominent display of the legitimate rates of parking - at several places is violated with impunity. Even the parking receipt does not bear the actual and the correct rates that are to be charged.
An employee at the gate said, “My master has paid a huge sum to get the contract and it was not possible to follow all rules as it leads to increased cost for the contractor.”
Frustrated and angry at the brazenness of it all, Right to Information (RTI) activist DC Gupta said, “In these state of affairs, authorities should stop paid parking at the Rajindra Hospital.”
He added, “The state government claims to be offering free treatment at the Rajindra. It is grave injustice to force people to pay to the parking contractor even before they can enter the hospital. What’s worse, the money has to be paid even though you might not get parking space.”
He added that it was surprising that even as the issue had been highlighted by the media and the officers were aware of the malpractice, nothing had been done for months.
Rajindra MS’s version
Rajindra Hospital medical superintendent BL Bhardwaj said, “Action will be taken if the contractor is overcharging. I will summon the contractor in my office and seek an explanation for overcharging. I will also ensure that new rate list is displayed at all entry gates in 48 hours.”
He claimed that under the new contract, the penalty for overcharging had been increased to Rs 5,000 per violation.
“I appeal to visitors that if they are being fleeced by the contractor, they must submit a written complaint to my office. If I receive four complaints of overcharging, the contract is liable to be cancelled,” Bhardwaj claimed.
“Overcharging for parking and that too at the entry gates and not in the parking area itself
“An important part of the contract - prominent display of the legitimate rates of parking - at several places is violated with impunity
“Even the parking receipt does not bear the actual and the correct rates that are to be charged.