Over 40 percent lifts without licence: consumer rights group

August 20th, 2008 - 12:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Ahmedabad, Aug 20 (IANS) An Ahmedabad-based consumer rights group issued legal notices to the chief electrical inspector, the government of Gujarat, and the directors of two hospitals for their negligence that the group alleged had resulted in the collapse of lifts at two public places. Consumer Education and Research Society (CERS) alleged that the chief electrical inspector and the monitoring agency, had failed to ensure the safety of the citizens.

The department concerned has six lift inspectors who monitor over 15,000 lifts in Gujarat. But more than 40 percent of the lifts operate without valid licences and annual maintenance contracts are given to non-qualified contractors, a CERS release said Tuesday.

The lift at the VS Hospital collapsed on Jan 24, 2008 when its cables snapped and it dropped from the third to the ground floor where no buffer spring had been installed to reduce the impact of the fall. Three people escaped with minor injuries.

The licence for the lift had not been renewed after Nov 19, 2004. A letter written by the medical superintendent of hospital to the state government stated that all the defects of the lift would be attended to within a year.

It means the lift was allowed to remain in service despite being defective, CERS charged.

In the case of the Gujarat Cancer Research Institute, Civil Hospital, Ahmedabad, a resident of Modasa (Sabarkantha district) opened the door of the lift on the second floor. The door opened without the lift and the man fell to the ground floor fracturing his left leg and right arm.

If a lift door opens without the lift being there, that is a violation of Rule 33 (a) of Gujarat Lifts and Escalators Rules-2001, CERS said.

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