lift-3An RTI into the logs of the State Energy and Labour Department of the Public Works Department accessed by a Mumbai resident show 35 fatal accidents by lifts in the Mumbai-Pune region in the seven years between April 30, 2002, and May 5, 2009. The figures are a cause for worry. Between May 14, 2002, and August 7, 2009, there were 28 non-fatal accidents in the Mumbai-Pune region. An RTI activist pored over the log book at the PWD office at Chembur on January 14 and zeroed in on three main reasons for accidents. * THE FIRST IS THE PAUCITY OF STAFF The PWD’s lifts department, which is supposed to inspect each lift twice a year, has only 11 engineers for 73,324 lifts in the Mumbai-Pune region, which includes Thane and Navi Mumbai. This means around 6,500 lifts per engineer. Assuming that each engineer checks 30 lifts a week, it will take around four years to inspect each lift even once. * POOR MAINTENANCE IS THE SECOND REASON. According to them, the PWD has a comprehensive list of the ways in which maintenance of lifts is neglected. However, for want of reqular inspections by the statutory authority, such defects are not pointed out in time and go unnoticed or are neglected by penny-pinching building societies or sloppy maintenance contractors. Log book records show that often, maintenance contractors remove crucial parts like switches for maintenance without shutting down the lift. * THE THIRD REASON IS A FATAL TECHNOLOGICAL FLAW. A study of the accident log book from 2002 onwards indicates that an overwhelming majority of the accidents have happened because of a technological flaw that allows lifts to start moving even when the door is open, or, alternatively, allows doors to open even when the lift is not in position. Bureau report – NMTV News.

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