Srinagar, Feb 26: Number of private hospitals functioning in summer capital Srinagar have applied paid parking mechanism since years now, much to the inconvenience of people.
According to official sources, private hospitals are bound to provide free parking facility to its patients and attendants but in Kashmir the situation is completely different.
Before allowing construction of any shopping complex, private hospital or hotel to take place the authorities look into the parking facility. Once the parking facility is available, accordingly the government allows the construction to take place.
According to local entrepreneurs, since the parking facility is prioritized by the government the motive is that people while availing or accessing different services should not suffer while parking their vehicles. The parking facility to the customers, clients and hospital attendants should be free and not chargeable.
“When someone is admitted in the private hospital his or her attendants can’t be asked to pay for parking. Many private hospitals are found to have looting people since long,” he added.
An attendant Mushtaq Ahmad (name changed) said that almost every private hospital while providing parking facility to people, charge them according to their own will, which is violation of rules.
Ahmad named some of the private hospitals found to be involved in charging people for parking. These hospitals are City Hospital Tengpora Bypass, Florence Hospital Chanapora and Khyber Hospital Khayam.
The private hospitals he added have kept the rates of paid parking between 20 to 50 rupees.
“Although there is no rule to charge paid parking from the attendants but every hospital owner is freely charging the money from the people,” said a retired government employee.
The people he said are being looted in the name of paid parking. “Where does this money goes? I don’t know why government is lying in deep slumber. It is astonishing that who granted these hospital owners the permission of charging people from parking.”
An attendant Riyaz Ahmad of Bemina who claimed to have accompanied his pregnant sister in one of a private hospital in Srinagar said that for three consecutive days he and his relatives was asked to pay 300 rupees as paid parking fee.
He added that the height is that even government hospitals at various places have also applied the paid parking mechanism.
Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) Commissioner Gazanfar Ali talking to Kashmir News Trust said the motive of SMC is to ensure parking for people inside commercial hubs for instance he said private hospitals, and shopping complexes.
When asked whether a property owner can charge people for paid parking the commissioner said people should not pay any kind of parking fee. “Even patients or attendants should not pay any kind of parking fee because those are seeking the medical services inside the private hospital,” said Commissioner. He however assured to check into the matter.