Private ambulance drivers at Osmania hospital allege police harassment

Hyderabad: Several private ambulance drivers working with the Osmania General Hospital in Afzalgunj have alleged “harassment” by Hyderabad Traffic Police. These drivers allege that even though they have all the required documents in physical or digital form, cops still impose a fine on them and at times seize their vehicles.

One of the ambulance drivers, Mohd Naseer said that there is no space for ambulance parking and he has been parking his ambulance at the nearby taxi stand. “The cops issue challans if we park our vehicles there,” he said.

The drivers say that they have been doing social service since many years shifting patients and dead bodies, especially during the pandemic period, but instead of appreciating their services the Hyderabad Traffic Police is regularly issuing heavy challans on ambulances.

A visit to the hospital revealed that three traffic cops have been deployed at the hospital to ensure free flow of traffic. However, this reporter also witnessed ambulances being checked by the cops while entering and existing from the hospital.

Amjed Ullah Khan, activist and spokesperson of Majlis Bachao Tahreek (MBT) said that there are more than 15 private ambulance drivers who provide service at Osmania General Hospital.

“The Hyderabad Traffic Police have been issuing heavy challans on their vehicles claiming that they have violated traffic rules. There have been cases where traffic police have also seized oxygen cylinders and even ambulances,” he said.

“I have requested Commissioner of Police, Hyderabad City Police to take necessary action against the traffic cops who are harassing these ambulance drivers,” he added.

According to a senior doctor at Osmania General Hospital, there are only five government-run ambulances to shift inpatients, referrals and five hearse vehicles to shift dead bodies.

“So as the government ambulance services are not fulfilling the people’s need several people at Osmania General Hospital prefer private ambulance services,” he said.

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