The state government has directed Inspectorate Lifts and Elevators to make the names of owners of companies and commercial establishments, which have not installed the mandatory automatic rescue device (ARD) in their lifts, public.
An RTI reply revealed that 426 lifts out of 4,495 lifts and elevators installed in malls and offices of Gurgaon do not have ARDs, thereby putting the lives of thousands of users at risk.
A rescue device costs up to R5 lakh. If there is a power failure or technical glitch in the lift or elevator system, ARD senses the problem and drives the lift to the nearest floor and opens the car door so that occupants can safely walk out. If the lift is not fitted with ARD, it stops in the middle of two floors. At times it is difficult to open the doors.
Although the state government had made installation of ARD mandatory in 2009, the office of inspectorate failed to implement the order in its totality. For the last two years, not even a single developer has been punished for flouting the law. The penalty includes initial R50,000 and subsequently R1,000 per day till the safety device is installed.
The state government’s move came after a Gurgaon resident, Aseem Takyar, filed an application in the office state information commission under RTI Act, seeking details of lifts without the device.
A few years ago, a 27-year-old executive working with a multinational IT firm in DLF Cybercity City killed when his head got crushed in the office lift. He was alone in the lift and wanted to reach his office on the 10th floor. The lift was not fitted with ARD and the police had booked the senior maintenance executive of the DLF and sent him to jail. It was after this incident that the Haryana government had made ARD mandatory for lifts and escalators.
A number of malls on MG Road and residential and office towers on Sohna and Golf Course roads are yet to install the safety device in their lifts.