Software engineer Sajan S. walked through a lift door that had just opened in his building in Ghaziabad four days ago.
Only, there was no lift there. Sajan plunged four floors to his death. It was a freak accident. But it is a reflection of how safety laws have been cast to the wind in Ghaziabad’s relentless high-rise boom.
The accident had happened at Parshvnath Majestic Floors Society in Indirapuram, Ghaziabad on July 16.
A resident recounted the incident. “Sajan had pushed the call-button of the lift on the sixth floor only to realise there was no electricity supply. He chose to take the stairs. When he reached the third floor, the electricity supply resumed and the lift door on the third floor opened. He stepped inside assuming the lift to be there but fell through the shaft. The lift was there, but on some other floor,” he said. Sajan died the next day in hospital.
The residents said the lift was faulty and that they had lodged a complaint in the society register on April 25. But the builder did not act, they alleged.
Shocked and agitated after the accident, the residents have now approached the police. They lodged a complaint against OTIS elevators and the developer. The police said they would look into the incident at the earliest.
The incident has raised questions on the safety of the lifts in the high-rise buildings. The residents say the incident was caused due to the faulty power supply to the society.
Sanjeev Jain of Parshvnath Builders and Developers said, “An enquiry into the incident would be carried out as the incident happened at the installation of a reputed company.” He added that after the incident, lift-operators have been provided in the lifts of their society. “New diesel generator sets would be provided to the residents within 30 days and the lift systems would be checked within 10 days,” he said.
“We are afraid and tense since the incident. The security of elevators during a power failure is a major concern. Especially children may get stuck someday due to mechanical and power failures. This incident could happen in any high-rise building,” said Amit Gupta, a resident.
Residents of such high-rises say security and maintenance remain a major problem even after huge payments for them. The maintenance charges are anything between Rs 1,200 and Rs 1,500.
“We have paid interest-free security deposit of Rs 20,000 each. Additionally, we pay Rs 1,200 to Rs 1,500 per month as maintenance charges. But still we are not sure about the equipment installed in the high-rise towers,” said Rishi Kulshresth, another resident.