Hyderabad: Several public parks maintained by the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) have been violating the Supreme Court’s guidelines and looting citizens by selling bottled water and aerated drinks at prices higher than the maximum retail price (MRP). Several provisional stores in the city have also been adding “refrigeration charges” to the prices of water and other drinks.
Stalls at major public parks including Lumbini Park, NTR Gardens and Sanjeevaiah Park have been charging Rs 25 to Rs 30 per litre for bottled water. K. Ranganath Reddy, who visited Lumbini Park on Sunday, said that he was charged Rs 25 for a bottle of water on which the MRP printed was Rs 20. When he questioned the staff at the stall, he was told that the HMDA had given them the right to charge more than the MRP.
S. Kiran Babu was charged Rs 35 for a bottle of orange juice whose MRP was Rs 32, at a bakery near Rail Nilayam. He said that the shopkeeper told him that the extra amount was being charged for refrigeration.
Residents across the city have complained about cinema halls, multiplexes and shopping malls that charge more than the MRP for all bottled and packaged products. A recent Supreme Court order has granted hotels and restaurants the permission to charge more than the MRP of packaged products as they provide comfort and cutlery, among other services. “But in multiplexes, we are already paying extra in the form of high ticket prices keeping in mind the comfortable ambience,” said K. Niranjan.