In an attempt to regulate the exorbitant fare charged by the ambulance service providers amid the raging Covid-19 pandemic the Delhi government on Thursday fixed charges levied by private ambulance services in the range of Rs 1,500- Rs 4,000, with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal warning strict action against violators

In a tweet, Kejriwal said that the Delhi government has received complaints against some private ambulance operators who are charging “illegitimately” amid a rush of Covid-19 patients to secure beds in hospitals.

“It has come to our notice that private ambulance services in Delhi are charging illegitimately.

“To avoid this practise, Delhi govt has capped maximum prices that private ambulance services can charge. Strict actions will be taken against those who violate the order,” Kejriwal tweeted.

According to new rules, the maximum rate for Private Patient Transport Ambulance, or a PTA, has been capped at Rs 1,500 per call up to 10 km and Rs 100 per extra kilometre. The Basic Life Support Ambulance fare has been fixed at Rs 2,000 per 10 kilometre and subsequently Rs 100 for every extra kilometre.

The fare for Advanced Life Support Ambulance, the third type, has been capped at Rs 4,000 for a distance of up to 10 km and Rs 100 for every extra kilometre beyond that.

“If any instance of charging rates higher than the aforesaid maximum comes to the notice by any private ambulance driver, service provider, operator or owner, strict action as per applicable laws shall be taken,” said the order issued by the Centralised Accident and Trauma Services, which provides round-the-clock free ambulance service in Delhi through a single toll-free number, 102.

The actions include cancellation of driving license of the ambulance driver, cancellation of registration certificate of an ambulance and impounding of the vehicle, the order added.