Noida (UP): The owner of a private ambulance in Noida has been booked under the National Disaster Management Act (NDMA) after he allegedly charged Rs 17,000 for ferrying a body to a crematorium over a distance of 7 km, officials said.
The deceased was a 78-year-old woman and wife of a retired Army colonel living in Sector 37 of the city. She passed away of illness on May 10, following which the ambulance driver overcharged them citing "Covid pandemic" despite the rates being capped at a maximum of Rs 2,500 for 10 km, they said.
"Besides the Rs 17,000 for an ambulance, her family was charged an additional Rs 7,000 for conducting the last rites. When the matter was brought to the notice of District Magistrate Suhas L Y he immediately ordered a probe and directed officials to get the FIR lodged after the charges were found true," District Information Officer Rakesh Chauhan said.
The FIR has been lodged at the Sector 39 police station against the ambulance driver, who has been booked under the provisions of the NDMA, he said.
Charges under Indian Penal Code section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 269 (unlawfully or negligently spreading infection of any disease dangerous to life), 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) have also been pressed against the accused, according to the FIR.
The district administration had on May 8 issued an order to put an upper cap on rates charged by ambulances amid the ongoing second wave of the pandemic.
According to the order, any ambulance without oxygen support will charge not more than Rs 1,000 for a maximum of 10 km and Rs 100 for every single km thereafter.
Ambulances with oxygen support can charge a maximum of Rs 1,500 for 10 km and thereafter Rs 100 per km, it stated.
Those with ventilator or Bi-pap support can charge Rs 2,500 for 10 km and thereafter Rs 200 per km, it added.
"People can lodge a complaint on helpline number 18004192211 or 112 if they are overcharged by the ambulance service provider," DM Suhas LY had said.