Around 9.30am on Saturday, Tardeo resident Naresh Khedekar received a call from a relative, informing him that the condition of his Covid-19 stricken younger brother had turned critical.
Khedekar along with his cousin rushed to the BYL Nair hospital in Agripada, but was stopped from entering the premises on his bike by the cops at the entrance. Running out of time, Khedekar parked his bike outside and rushed inside the hospital where he was informed that his brother, 43, had passed away. While he was completing the formalities, Khedekar’s cousin received a message from the traffic department on his phone – his bike had been penalised for illegal parking.
Khedekar is not the only one. In the recent past, a number of people have raised the issue of being fined for parking outside hospitals. While the traffic department said they were just acting on complaints by the hospitals, the kin said it was insensitive on the part of the authorities to penalise them during such a stressful period.
“At such times, when people …are fighting Covid and unemployment, we expect the police to co-operate with the ailing families and not forget humanity,” Khedekar said.
Police, though, have their reasons. Kailash Kare of Nagpada traffic division said, “We make sure we fine only those vehicles that are obstructing vehicular movement. The hospital has also submitted a written complaint against such illegal parking.”
The issue was also highlighted by advocate Abhijit Patil as he posted an image on Twitter Saturday, saying: “Why traffic police is clipping bikes outside KEM hospital, r tey causing traffic jam? R these ppl roaming around for fun? Imagine ter state of mind. In such emergency u want thm to come to police chauki to pay fines!”
DCP Nandkumar Thakur said that action was taken after the hospital authorities complained against illegal parking.