Ghaziabad: Following complaints, Ghaziabad officials posed as decoy customers and conducted an investigation on two ambulance operators, who were arrested for allegedly charging exorbitant fares for transferring a patient from Ghaziabad to Bareilly, which is about 250km from the city.
The rates for the ambulance had been fixed by the district magistrate according to an order issued on May 9. – ₹1500 for an oxygen ambulance for the first 10km, and ₹60 for per kilometre thereafter), non-oxygen ( ₹1000 for first 10km and ₹50 per km thereafter), ventilator supported ( ₹2000 for first 10kms and ₹7 per km thereafter), advanced life-support with doctor ( ₹4000 for first 10km and ₹75 per km thereafter) and even AC and non-AC vehicles for shifting bodies to the cremation ground.
“The officials were asked to conduct checks after we received complaints of overcharging by ambulance operators. The two persons were arrested, and their vehicles were seized. The transport department officials are also checking if other ambulances of these operators violated any registration norms,” said Ajay Shankar Pandey, DM.
According to the team of officials which posed as a decoy, they contacted two ambulance operators at Lohiya Nagar over the phone.
“We asked them for an ambulance to shift a patient to Bareilly. They told us the fare as ₹50,000 instead of the capped rate which is about ₹16,000 for an oxygen ambulance. Thereafter we said that we require a normal ambulance and they quoted ₹22000 to ₹24000 for the trip. We called them to an area near Sihani-Gate police station and got them arrested and their ambulances were also seized,” said one of the officers who led the team, requesting anonymity.
“The owners of the ambulances are operating 11 such ambulances and we have asked the transport department to check their registrations and other compliances. If they are found erring, further action will be initiated,” the officer added.
The police identified the two suspects as Hariom Yadav and Sarvesh Kumar.
“Both were booked under section 151 of the CrPC and they both will be produced before the court of sub-divisional magistrate. The two ambulances involved were also seized,” said Krishna Gopal Sharma, SHO of Sihani-Gate police station.