Greater Noida lift crash tragedy exposes risk to lives of high-rise residents
Noida, Sep 17 (IANS) The tragic lift crash which left eight construction workers dead recently at Amrapali’s Dream Valley Phase-2 project in Greater Noida West, has once again exposed the faulty maintenance of lifts and the lax attitude of officials concerned. It has also highlighted the crying need for the implementation of the Lift Act by the ruling BJP Government in Uttar Pradesh.
According to the construction workers at the Amrapali Dream Valley Phase-2 project, where the tragedy took place, they had complained about the faulty lift several times to their supervisors but no corrective measures were taken and in the end it resulted in the death of eight construction workers.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was briefed about the tragedy by the Gautam Buddha Nagar District Magistrate Manish Kumar Verma. Adityanath directed Verma to take strict action against the culprits responsible for the death of the eight construction workers.
The District Magistrate visited the hospital where the workers were admitted after the mishap, along with the Police Commissioner and the CEO of Greater Noida Authority.
Later, Verma inspected the accident site with the officials concerned in tow, and ordered the sealing of the entire high-rise building project as the safety standards were being flouted with impunity and the lives of the construction workers were being put at risk callously.
The District Magistrate announced that the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) had decided to give a compensation of Rs 25 lakh each to the next of kin of the four construction workers who died on Friday.
On Saturday morning, four more construction workers succumbed to their injuries. Their families will also be provided compensation after discussions with the NBCC.
Verma said that an FIR against the construction company and several officials who are being held responsible for the deaths of the eight construction workers has been registered at the Bisrakh police station.
According to the police, a case has been registered under Sections 304, 308, 337, 338, 287, 34 and Section 7 of the Criminal Procedure Act.
An FIR has been lodged against General Managers of Girdhari Lal Constructions Harish Sharma, Rishabh Arora, Luvjeet, NBCC General Managers Vikas, Aditya Chandra and Mechanical incharge Rahul, Amarpali Dream Valley Site incharges Devendra Sharma, Sunil, Shailendra and other officials.
A FIR has been registered against nine people and other officers/employees. Police have detained 16 people in this case and they are being questioned.
When the DM, Police Commissioner, Greater Noida Authority CEO and other top officials reached the accident site and initiated an investigation they found that despite it being a high-rise project, no safety net was installed for the safety of the construction workers nor was there any provision for first aid.
Apart from this, there was no adequate provision for safety belts and hard hats for the construction workers. To top it all, after the accident took place the ambulance, too, was not provided on time.
In fact, the families of the construction workers have alleged that the injured workers were taken to the district hospital in private vehicles and if there had been an ambulance at the spot, the lives of their family members could have been saved.
According to sources the accident took place as the lift was quite old and dilapidated and had broken down several times in the past due to technical faults. While riding in the lift, there was always a fear of accidents and loss of life.
This information was also given to the project officials but neither the construction company nor the NBCC officials paid heed.
Taking cognisance of the unfortunate incident Lokesh M, Noida Authority CEO, has issued instructions to all builders and Apartment Owners' Associations (AOAs) in Noida to take stock of the lifts in their buildings and get them serviced. He has said that a compliance report has to be submitted within a month.
Notices will be issued and action will be taken against those builders and AOAs who fail to comply with these instructions and submit their reports within the prescribed time period.
If any untoward incident occurs due to inadequate servicing of lifts, the builder/AOA concerned will be held responsible for criminal negligence and appropriate action will be taken against them.
There are about 900 high-rise societies in Noida and around 3,000 low-floor societies. There are lifts in the low-floor societies too. Therefore, they will also have to take cognisance of this and take action so that peoples’ safety can be ensured.
Recently, an elderly woman died after a lift collapsed in Greater Noida's Sector-137. Apart from this, many incidents of people getting stuck in lifts and falling lifts keep coming to light. Hence people in Noida are scared to use lifts because an accident can take place any time.
In the wake of this latest tragedy the issue of the implementation of the Lift Act has gained momentum and was raised in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly by the MLAs of Noida and Jewar.
Uttar Pradesh Energy Minister AK Sharma has assured that soon the Lift Act will be passed in the State and a strict law will be made to take action against the guilty.
Recently, a proposal regarding the Lift Act was sent to the Uttar Pradesh Government by the Noida Authority. This law will be enacted for high-rise societies as well as for other buildings of the city where lifts are in use.
Getting stuck in lifts has now become a common problem in several high-rise societies in Noida and the elderly and children are particularly vulnerable as they use lifts more than others.
On June 27, nine people were trapped in a lift at Ghaziabad's Gaur Home society and help arrived after nearly 15 minutes.
On the night of July 10, four women and two children were stuck in a lift at Mahagun Mantraa Society in Greater Noida West for nearly 20 minutes and were eventually rescued by the maintenance team of the society. After this incident, the traumatised children have vowed to use the stairs.
On July 28, Ramkishan, 29, who worked as a supervisor in a company in Noida's Sector-63 got stuck in the lift. Suddenly the cable of the lift snapped and it plummeted. After much effort, Ramkishan was taken out of the lift and rushed to the nearby Kailash Hospital by his colleagues. However, he died while undergoing treatment.
On August 3, the cable of a lift in Paras Tierea Society in Sector-137 broke. Fortunately, the falling lift stopped two to three floors below the 24th floor, but the 73-year-old woman in the lift suffered a panic attack and became unconscious. The lift was broken open and the woman was rushed to a nearby hospital where the doctors declared her dead.
On August 11, two children and two elderly citizens were stranded for about 25 minutes when the lift suddenly broke down in D-Tower of Charms Castle Society, Rajnagar Extension, Ghaziabad. When the intercom installed in the lift failed to function, people made calls for help from their mobile phones.
Rescuers broke the lift door and used wooden ladders to evacuate all four persons stuck inside. Later, the residents of the society expressed their anger against the builder.
The condition of one of the victims of the September 15 lift mishap in Amrapali Dream Valley Phase-2 in which eight construction workers died is critical.
There is now hope for the implementation of the Lift Act in Noida soon. BJP MLA Pankaj Singh had earlier raised the issue in a meeting with Adityanath on January 21, 2023. A letter was also given by Singh on January 22 and the State Assembly was also urged to implement the Lift Act in the State.
Singh had demanded implementation of the Lift Act under Rule 51 in the Assembly and made a statement on the subject of public importance.
Regarding this matter, Uttar Pradesh Energy Minister AK Sharma has said in a statement that under the provisions of the Central Electricity Authority Regulation 2010, investigation is done from time-to-time by the State Electricity department.
Similarly, after inspection of the Electrical Safety Directorate in various cases of lifts malfunctioning or falling, reports have been issued. Due to increasing urbanisation in the State and the increasing number of tall buildings, the use of lifts is on the rise. AK Sharma has assured that work will soon be done towards implementing the Lift Act in Uttar Pradesh.