UP plans law for insurance of lift passengers
The law will enforce annual elevator maintenance, registration, penalties for negligence, and will ensure compensation in case of accidents.
In a first, the Uttar Pradesh government is working on a law for insurance of passengers to make vertical transportation systems like lifts safer for users.
This will include mandatory annual maintenance of elevators, their registration and penal action against agencies concerned in the event of any negligence in upkeep of lifts.
The state government is finally ready with the draft of the UP Lifts and Escalators Act, 2023, amid an increasing number of lift accidents in the state.
Once the Cabinet approves it, the Bill may be tabled in the Winter Session of the state legislature, said officials.
Additional Chief Secretary, Energy, Mahesh Kumar Gupta said, “Currently, inter-departmental consultations with stakeholders are on to discuss the draft. We are trying to ensure that the much-awaited Lifts Act becomes a reality in the next session of Vidhan Sabha.”
“We will also put the final draft of the Act in public domain to get comments and suggestions from people,” he added.
As per the draft already circulated among departments such as home, housing, Awas Vikas Parishad, PWD etc, the registration of lift manufacturers, operators and users would be a compulsory exercise.
“One good thing that we have also provided in the draft is compulsory third-party insurance of passengers who will be entitled to monetary compensation in the event of any harm they suffer on account of a lift accident. Insurance coverage will be provided by the owner of the building,” said Special Secretary, Energy, Anupam Shukla.
He said as most of the lift accidents happened due to poor maintenance, efforts were being made to deal with this issue effectively by making stringent provisions, including a jail term that may extend to three months or a fine that may extend to Rs 1 lakh or both, in each offence as provided under Section 146 of the Electricity Act, 2003.
“A mandatory annual maintenance contract (AMC) has been proposed and lifts found operating without this will be liable to be sealed. District Magistrates will be given all the powers under the relevant sections of the CrPC and the IPC to take penal action against those concerned for any act of negligence,” said Shukla.
The Electricity Safety Directorate will, as per the draft, develop a portal to keep a watch on lifts operating without a valid AMC. Malls, hotels, cinema halls and government offices etc will be required to carry out a monthly inspection of their lifts themselves and maintain a logbook on wear and tear, maintenance etc of lifts besides necessarily having an operator in each such elevator.
There may also be some special provisions in the Act for the convenience of differently-abled people using lifts.
According to Shukla, the government has studied the Lifts Act of other states too, like Delhi, Maharashtra and Gujarat before preparing the draft. “Our focus is on keeping the process and provisions as simple as possible to avoid any ‘licence raj’ complications to creep in,” he said.