Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court (HC) has instructed the (GHMC) commissioner and Enforcement, Vigilance and Disaster Management (EVDM) wing to act as per the law against the Apollo Hospitals for leasing out parking space and collecting parking fee from patients on their premises.

Vijay Gopal, an anti-corruption activist from Hyderabad, visited Apollo Hospitals in Jubilee Hills, along with his mother, in June 2019. He was charged Rs 40 for parking his vehicle in the parking area on the hospital premises. Immediately, he lodged a complaint through My GHMC app for collecting parking fee unauthorisedly, as the collection of parking fee is illegal as per the Telangana State Government Order (G.O) 63, MA & UD dated March 20, 2018.

The Telangana government issued GO 63 to rationalise and regulate parking fee being collected at commercial establishments/malls/multiplexes, to prevent misuse of parking space by outsiders and in the public interest.

According to GO 63, no parking fee should be collected from any person for the first 30 minutes of parking their vehicle. Parking is free up to 30 minutes and up to 1 hour if the person who had parked the vehicle produces a bill of any amount in proof of having done shopping in the respective mall/multiplex.

In case of other persons, the prescribed parking fee for the said duration may be collected.

Parking is free for above one hour only if the person who has parked the vehicle produces a bill/movie ticket to an amount which is more than the parking fee (in proof of having done shopping in the respective mall/ multiplex) to be paid by him for the said duration. In case of other persons, the prescribed parking fee for the above duration may be collected.

Vijay alleged that despite lodging complaint in June 2019, the GHMC is yet to take action against the hospital. However, the case filed by Vijay Gopal Vs State of Telangana, GHMC and EVDM, was heard on October 1, 2020, and the High Court ordered the GHMC to take action against the hospital as per the law.

The Telangana High Court in its order stated, “The grievance of the petitioner is that private hospitals are leasing out parking spaces and illegally collecting parking charges in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation jurisdiction and, therefore, he made representations dated June 15, 2019 and November 30, 2019 but as no action is being taken on the said representations, the present writ petition is filed. Having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case, and without expressing any opinion on merits, the writ petition is disposed of directing the respondents 2 and 3 / competent authority, to consider the above representations stated to have been made by the petitioner in accordance with the law, and take action accordingly.”

Vijay Gopal, founder, Forum Against Corruption (FAC), told Newsmeter, “A complaint filed with GHMC is pending since June 2019, and it is discouraging for people to have such lethargic authorities who are sleeping over people’s problem. I just hope at least now, the GHMC takes action against the hospital authorities as per the law after the High Court orders.”.

Anusha Puppala

Anusha Puppala is currently working at NewsMeter. She had earlier worked as a reporter with ANI and The News Minute. Previously, she has worked as a Senior Reporter with the Deccan Chronicle Newspaper, covering education beat. She had briefly associated with the national television channel Tiranga TV as a special correspondent. Anusha has extensively written stories on education, traffic, civic-issues, human-Interesting, off-Beat, consumer issues, health and environment. Hailing from Visakhapatnam, Anusha is a social media buff and a passionate foodie. If not reporting, you will always find her travelling.

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