BENGALURU: Friday dawned as usual. But for Azgar Pasha, an auto driver, it came with the sad news of his mother’s death and the added woes of the Bharat Bandh. Tajunnisa (60), who was a diabetic and was suffering from liver disease, died at Victoria Hospital in Kalasipalya around 5.30am.
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The grief-stricken Pasha had to spend a harrowing time due to the bandh as there was no transport available to shift his mother’s body. He approached private ambulances stationed on the hospital premises to shift her body to his house near Sujatha Theatre in Rajajinagar. He looked on helplessly when the ambulances demanded exorbitant fare.
The BBMP hearse vans charge only `15 per hour. Though ambulances are not mandated to shift bodies, private ones normally do.
“It was between 6.30 and 7 this morning. I approached private ambulances. Taking advantage of the bandh, they demanded `1,500 to `2,000 to my house, which is about 5km from the hospital. The state-run 108 ambulance too quoted a high figure. Since I couldn’t afford the fare, I asked my friend who drives a tempo to help me.”
Pasha said he was in no state to note down the numbers of the ambulances or what company they belonged to.
Dr P K Devadass, director, Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, to which Victoria Hospital is affiliated, said, “We do not transport the dead in ambulances.”
Dr S Venkata Raghava, associate professor, department of forensic medicine, Victoria Hospital, said, “We have put up boards that Victoria has got nothing to do with the private ambulances stationed here.”
Parvez S S, senior manager, GVK EMRI, told Express, “If customers note down the ambulance number, it is easy to zero in on the driver. We have one ambulance stationed in Victoria Hospital. But since the customer did not make any call to us for the ambulance, it is hard to say who the driver was. We don’t transport dead bodies.”