Hyderabad: Although ambulance operators are benefiting from the government in several aspects, they are exploiting the public when it comes to transporting dead bodies.
Mostly these ambulances are exempted from toll taxes or other permit related issues. Besides, no RTO official or traffic police stop these vehicles from a humane point of view during checks. Taking advantage of this, ambulance operators use inexperienced drivers and people without proper licenses.
A year back, during shifting a dead body from Osmania Hospital to Suryapet in Nalgonda district, an ambulance met with an accident. Police enquiry had found that the driver, Somaiah, did not have a driving license. Recently, another incident took place at Choutuppal of Nalgonda district.
Most ambulances parked at Osmania General Hospital are not fit to ply. A tea-stall operator near EFLU, Abdul Kareem, said that when his brother-in-law’s son died undergoing treatment, some ambulance operators had demanded Rs 20,000 to shift the dead body to Gulbarga in Karnataka. “We brought the body to our home in an ambulance and later shifted it in a DCM van for Rs 8,000,” he said.
Mortuary staff meanwhile do not allow private vehicles or auto trolleys to shift bodies. As per the rules, the transportation vehicle should have a permit from the medical officer. This rule has become a boon for private ambulance operators. The condition of some ambulances operated by private hospitals at Santhoshnagar, Champapet and Karmanghat are very poor.
Mr Dasari Sriram from Dilsukhnagar said that he had called an ambulance for shifting his father’s body to Devarakonda last year. “Initially, we were shocked when we saw the ambulance. It was a Maruti Omni and the freezer was half inside and half outside. There was no space for relatives to sit. The ambulance operator demanded Rs 13,000. We rejected that vehicle and took another one (a Tempo Traveler) for Rs 8,000,” he said....