Bribe-for-bed claims: Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike orders probe | Bengaluru News – Times of India
An employee in the control room of a BBMP zone admitted to the corruption and said middlemen are working for civic officials (Picture used for representational purpose only)
BENGALURU: Amid rising instances of Covid-19 patients unable to get hospital beds and breathing their last, allegations have surfaced that Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials are blocking general beds for around Rs 40,000 per head.
Following a query from TOI, BBMP chief Gaurav Gupta initiated an internal inquiry by a three-member team. He said it’s totally unacceptable and criminal cases will be filed. “I’ve asked city police commissioner Kamal Pant to look into the matter,” he added.
TOI has access to an audio clip of a conversation recorded by Bengalurean Ramesh who was looking for hospital beds. “I called the BBMP helpline. The representative collected all details, including BU number and SRF ID. After a few minutes, a person called and demanded Rs 40,000 to block a bed in KIMS,” he said.
Blocking of bed will cost ₹40,000: Caller
The caller says, “There are no beds available in Bengaluru. However, we will get it blocked for you but you will have to pay Rs 40,000 which is a one-time payment. Treatment, food and everything will be provided from the government’s fund.
As we must pay BBMP officials also to get you the bed, it will cost Rs 40,000. We have got beds in private hospitals but as of now they’re only available in KIMS.” While the patient’s relative sought oxygenated beds, the middleman said they could book only a general bed at that point.
An employee in the control room of a BBMP zone admitted to the corruption and said middlemen are working for civic officials. “Once a person approaches a BBMP helpline, some collect details like SRF ID, BU number and contact number and share them with middlemen, based on urgency of the patient approaching the helpline. The middlemen then call patients and make offers.”
There are posts on WhatsApp and other social media platforms claiming they will get beds in private hospitals. When TOI with the help of a volunteer connected with the man who had posted one such offer, he said he could get a bed for Rs 20,000 and it would be blocked by Palike officials.
Asked whether anyone had got a bed via such means, a source in the war room said beds even for money give rise to a lot of goodwill and beneficiaries just don’t speak up.