Deccan Chronicle.| Rachel Dammala
A 70-year-old woman died in a lift which plunged eight floors in a residential apartment in Noida, near Delhi, on Thursday. (Representative Image:
HYDERABAD: The incident of a 70-year-old woman who died in a lift which plunged eight floors in a residential apartment in Noida, near Delhi, on Thursday has brought back attention to the maintenance of lifts. In the Noida case, the cable had snapped but the lift did not crash to the floor; instead, it became stuck between two lower floors.
According to reports, the annual maintenance contract (AMC) for the maintenance of the lift had expired two months ago.
Given this problem of ill-maintained lifts, a recent national survey conducted by a private company revealed that 58 per cent of participants — 44 per cent in Hyderabad — who use lifts have had one or more family members getting stuck in the last three years. Of the 42,000 responses from 329 districts, only 46 per cent said they have an AMC with the manufacturer and 76 per cent wanted the government to bring mandatory standards for lift maintenance, the survey by Local circles showed.
For the past couple of years, elevator or lift makers in India have been lobbying for a uniform Lift Act that ensures minimum safety standards and specifications in the vertical transportation industry. New Indian Standard 15 17491:2020 was released by BIS in 2022, for the industry.
“However, like most state licenses or government certifications, the process at times involves corruption and bribery in exchange for ignoring non-compliance," said Manoj Siddartha, a member of the Kukatpally Residents Welfare Association. His wife and mother were stuck for about 15 minutes in their residential apartment in March.
Roja Ramani, a teacher, who was stuck in an elevator, once in a clinic in Karimnagar and at another time in a mall in the city, said that the trauma of being trapped for long itself would be enough to kill a person.
Rama Krishna, owner of Apex Elevators in the city, blamed the non-existence of  lift safety auditors for the continued lack of accountability. "Most times, big companies, after the expiry of a 15-year contract, instead of renewing and replacing the lift resort to repairs as it costs much less. Had there been regular audits and an inspector from the government's end, this practice can be stopped," he said, adding that he, along with other companies, met MA&UD minister K.T. Rama Rao and the GHMC officials to request the regulation of the same.
Hari Kisan M., employee of a lift maintenance company, said that the tools and gate locks among other required to repair the old lifts were available only with the original manufacturer. “We can't even do a thorough job when the apartments reach out to us, because the original company would not repaid after the expiry date.”

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