VIJAYAWADA: In a clear violation of the rules, most of the private hospitals in the city are setting up their diagnostic units and reception counters and other utilities in the areas allotted for parking. Though patients and their attendants are facing hardships because of this, the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) has been adopting a negligent stance for reasons best known to it.
As per the norms, commercial buildings have to dedicate space for parking vehicles, but a majority of the hospitals located at Suryaraopet, Governorpet, Patamata and other areas in the city have set up receptions, medical shops or diagnostic units in the space, showing scant respect to the rules.
“I often park my vehicle in a lane far away from a private hospital at Suryaraopet as half the space in the cellar of the hospital is used for reception, while the other half is used by doctors for parking,” said Venkat Badarla, a resident of Electricity Colony.
Using parking lots for commercial purposes is a clear violation of the VMC regulations, but hospitals which violate them are apparently getting away with it due to the sheer negligence on the part of the officials of the civic body.
“Any commercial complex is supposed to provide parking facilities, including the hospitals. The problem with many of the city hospitals is that they were once residential buildings and are not suited for running hospitals due to lack of parking space and other facilities to cater to the patients and visitors,” said Ch Babu Rao, CPM city secretary.
He pointed out that lack of proper enforcement by the VMC authorities is one of the main reasons for many hospitals to set up reception counters and diagnostic units in parking areas. Meanwhile, the VMC authorities say that they have not received any complaints in this regard. “We shall issue notices twice before taking action for any violations in buildings, if we receive complaints,” said VMC’s assistant city planner IV Suneetha, who is in-charge for Suryaraopet limits.
Madhu Kumar, assistant city planner II and in-charge for the Patamata limits, agreed that any commercial activity in parking area is a clear breach of norms and added that they have not received any complaints so far in this regard. “But it is the responsibility of the VMC to see that the cellar is used only for parking. The attitude of the officials clearly exposes their insincerity.” said A Venugopal Rao, a senior citizen, of Machavaram.