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LUCKNOW Insurance of passengers, mandatory annual maintenance of elevators, their registration and penal action against agencies concerned in the event of any negligence in upkeep of elevators may be among the salient provisions of the first-ever law UP is working on to make the vertical transportation system safer for users.
After years of deliberations, 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. A note may be sent to the Cabinet soon for approval and the Bill, it is believed, may be tabled during the coming winter session of the state legislature, said officials.
“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,” additional chief secretary, energy, Mahesh Kumar Gupta told HT.
“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 may 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, who has been closely involved in the process.
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 1 lakh or both, in each offence as provided under Section 146 of the Electricity Act, 2003.
“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 Safey 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 lift.
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 which, he said, might undergo further changes after the chief secretary holds a meeting with various departments to discuss the proposed provisions, most likely by next week.
“Our focus is on keeping the process and provisions as simple as possible to avoid any ‘licence raj’ to creep in,” he said.
UP, it may be pointed out, has been deliberating enactment of a Lifts Act since 2018, without any success. But unlike on earlier occasions when the drafts were written and re-written by the department of electricity safety, this time the entire exercise is being carried out at the government level only and at a faster pace too.
Brajendra K Parashar is a Special Correspondent presently looking after agriculture, energy, transport, panchayati raj, commercial tax, Rashtriya Lok Dal, state election commission, IAS/PCS Associations, Vidhan Parishad among other beats.