BDL elevator probe: Lift was not meant for heavy use, reveals inquiry

Published: May 23, 2019, 10:38 IST | Anurag Kamble

The ongoing probe into the death of a top dentist reveals the lift was not supposed to carry heavy loads, which might not have been conveyed to the museum management

BDL elevator probe: Lift was not meant for heavy use, reveals inquiry
Bhau Daji Lad Museum

The vendor, who had installed the lift at the Bhau Daji Lad Museum that claimed a life, has been found guilty. Mumbai City Electric Inspector (Lift), investigating the irregularities has found discrepancies on the part of Expert Equipment who allowed an "unconventional" hydraulic lift to be used as a passenger lift and didn't tell the museum authorities to get it licensed.

The Electric Inspector (Lift) department is now in the process of issuing a show-cause notice to the vendor seeking an explanation from them before submitting a final report to the police.

Renowned dentist Dr Arnavaz Havewala and her daughter met with an accident when the lift inside Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Byculla collapsed on April 28. Dr Havewala passed away later in a hospital after which an offence under IPC section 304A (negligence), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 338 (causing grievous hurt by act of endangering life or personal safety of others) was registered at the Byculla police station against unknown persons.

Also read: Byculla museum death: BMC orders probe, cops to wait for it before action

The Electrical Inspector (Lift), who is responsible for the inspection and licensing of all the lifts operating in the city, was questioned by the Byculla Police earlier this month. Preliminary investigations by his department have suggested that the lift was not mentioned in the records of the department. It was also found that the lift was of the unconventional hydraulic type.

"It shouldn't be used for regular affairs or transportation of passengers. We were told that it was only meant to be used by senior citizens and visually-challenged persons only but was used by other visitors as well," an officer in the inspecting department said.

Also read: Mumbai: Bhau Daji Lad Musuem, lift vendor blame each other after freak mishap kills dentist

"There were also a lot of alterations in the make of the lift. It was not registered with the department when the Lift Act was amended in 2008 and it was made mandatory to register all the lifts with the department. The vendor had not followed the procedure," added another officer.
"If a lift is in regular use, irrespective of its users, it must have a liftman to operate it. The vendor who had an Annual Maintenance Contract with the museum didn't inform them museum of this until very recently," he said.

Awaiting vendor's explanation

According to sources in the Electrical Inspector (Lift) the department, a show cause notice will be issued to Expert Equipment to explain the discrepancies and loopholes and why the museum authorities were kept in the dark about the licensing procedure. "From whatever information we have collected about this lift, the responsibility of its functioning and any untoward incident lies with the vendor. We have all the observations and detailed report ready with us. We are waiting for the vendor's response before filing a final report with the cops," a source in the department said.

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