Thousands of residents, including corporate executives, office-goers and shoppers risk their lives daily, as a sizable number of lifts in office buildings, residential complexes and malls is not fitted with the automatic rescue device (ARD).
Although the state government had made it mandatory in 2009, through legislation, to install the device, the office of inspectorate has failed to implement the order. For the last two years, not even a single developer has been penalised for flouting the law.
The penalty includes initial Rs50,000 and subsequently Rs1,000 per day till the time the safety device is installed. Not even a single penny has come to the state exchequer in the form of penalty for the reasons best known to the department.
A few years ago, a 27-year old executive working with a multinational IT firm Sapient in DLF Cybercity City was seriously injured and later died 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 developers have confirmed that they have not even received any notices asking them to install ARDs. However this belies the claim of the chief inspector, lifts & escalators.
He claimed that he had served notices to several residential and commercial buildings asking them to install the device in their lifts, failing which the department would start slapping penalty.
About 1,000 lifts out of a total 4,500 registered with the department of chief inspector are still to be installed with ARDs in Gurgaon. However, the department has no idea about status of ARDs in the unregistered lifts.
SK Kakkar, the inspector, lifts & escalators, Gurgaon, said notices were being rushed to the owners of the buildings where they had not installed ARDs. "Though we have issued a number of notices to developers of residential and commercial buildings we have not slapped penalty in Gurgaon." he added.
He said, "All the new lifts are now coming fitted with ARDs. Many old lifts are yet to be fitted with the device."
According to Raman Sharma of Malibu Towne - that has five 13-floor residential towers with 16 lifts - his township is yet to follow the lift norms and get the ARD installed.
"The residents are at risk. We have also made a complaint to the Lokayukta and hearing on the same is scheduled on Tuesday," he added.
SC Sharma, the senior maintenance executive of Malibu Estate Private Limited, disclosed that his company did not receive any notice from the government so far. "The total cost of ARDs would come to about Rs53 lakh which has to be collected from the residents," he added.