A faulty lift in a slum rehab building at Dharavi killed a seven-year-old girl on Sunday morning.
Nivea Nadar was trapped between two floors in the lift of a seven-storeyed Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) building as she prepared to leave for church with her family for Sunday mass.
Nivea, the youngest of Nelson Nadar’s (48) four children, was excited about going to Mahim Church with her family for Sunday morning mass. As her mother got dressed, Nivea ran outside the flat and opened the lift’s swing door. She was accidentally trapped in the gap between the swing and the collapsible grill door.
For over an hour, fire brigade and police officials tried to rescue her, but she had died by the time she was extricated. She lived with her parents and three older siblings in a fifth-floor flat in the four-year-old Kamraj Housing Society, which is opposite Dharavi police station.
Nelson, who owns a printing press at Sion, said Nivea studied in Class 1 at the Our Lady School at Sion. On Sunday morning, just as opened the lift door and was about to step in, someone pressed the lift button on the fourth floor.
“Her leg was stuck in the gap between the swing and the collapsible doors, and while she was being dragged down, the lift was again called by a sixth-floor resident. In the process, the upper part of her body was trapped on the lift roof while the lower part was left hanging on the fifth floor,” said Nelson.
“It is the society’s responsibility to maintain the lift and it’s their fault that I lost my daughter,” he said. Police registered it as accidental death.
“We’ve detained the sixth-floor resident who called the lift during the time of the incident,” said Police Inspector Prakash Sawant of Dharavi police station.
Megha Sood, Mumbai
The delay time relay must have not been working in the SRA building where Nivea (7) got trapped and died, according to experts. “Every lift takes some time to start when the button is pressed. In this case the system must have failed,” said Mohammed Afzal, RTI activist who has filed PILs on faults in city lifts.
According to experts the managing committee of a society and the licensed lift maintenance contractor is responsible for faults in lifts. “There should be criminal liability on them in case of an accident like this,” he said.
In seven years there have been 35 major and fatal accidents in city lifts, which either occur due to faulty landing gate or electro-mechanical lock.
“The lift inspectors from the PWD should inspect them once in every six months. But there are more than 78,000 lifts in the state and just 16 inspectors,” added Afzal.