Three days after a temporary service lift collapsed in a 22-storey Matunga tower, investigating agencies responsible for ascertaining the cause of the incident have washed their hands off it.
This comes two days after Hindustan Times reported how the state public works department’s (PWD) lifts inspection section was initiating a probe into the accident. A desperate Matunga police station has now approached the Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI) requesting them to probe the incident.
ST Valikar, chief engineer, electrical PWD, said, “Our inspectors visited the site and found out it was actually just a hoist, which should have been ideally used only to ferry material and not people. As it isn’t even a lift, our department won’t be investigating into it, because we deal only with passenger lifts.”
Valikar added that on inspection, the team also found that the lift didn’t have any licences.
The Mumbai fire brigade, which is also investigating the case, said it wasn’t technically equipped to probe the incident. “We are looking into the fire safety aspects of the building and are in charge of ensuring that the fire lift is functional. Beyond that, we have little expertise in dealing with lifts,” said Uday Tatkare, chief fire officer.
A senior police official, refusing to be named, said, “It’s shocking that the PWD should refuse to investigate. Giving it a different technical name doesn’t make the mechanism of both any different.” Confirming that the cops had approached VJTI, Sunil Deshmukh, senior police inspector, Matunga police station, said, “We have requested head of departments of VJTI to conduct a probe. They are considering the offer and will respond in a day or two.”