Byculla museum death: Terming BDL museum lift levegator 'deliberate'

Updated: Jun 25, 2019, 07:57 IST | Anurag Kamble | Mumbai

Manufacturer used non-existent nomenclature for BDL museum elevator, in which top dentist was killed two months ago, to evade registration with the authorities, probe concludes

The lift at Bhau Daji Lad Museum in Byculla collapsed while Dr Havewala and her daughter were using it
The lift at Bhau Daji Lad Museum in Byculla collapsed while Dr Havewala and her daughter were using it

The lift at Bhau Daji Lad museum that killed a city dentist and injured her daughter in a mishap two months ago, was in fact, not a lift at all. The product sold to the museum is called a 'levegator' on paper, concluded Lift Inspector (City) in its report submitted to the Mumbai Police.

The authority was asked by the Byculla police to give details of the technical specifications of the lift, its authenticity, and legal validity. A three-page report was thus submitted by the lift inspector, red flagging issues at the manufacturer's end.

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. This fall led to the death of Dr. Havewala later following which an offence was registered at the Byculla police station under IPC section 304A (cause of negligence) against unknown persons, 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).

Arnavaz HavawalaDr Arnavaz Havewala died after she was seriously injured in the lift collapse at the Bhau Daji lad museum in Byculla on April 28

Electrical Inspector (Lift), responsible for the inspection and licensing of all the lifts operating in the city, was questioned by Byculla cops over the records of the lift in question. During preliminary investigation, authorities had found that the lift was not mentioned in the city record.

The department's report has highlighted all major loopholes and shortcomings in lift manufacturing. "The first and foremost loophole by the lift manufacturer is that they have termed the product (lift) as levegator, not an elevator. And in the world of lifts, there is nothing called a levegator. So the lift manufacturer has cheated their customer (Bhau Daji Lad Museum)," a source from the Lift Inspector department told mid-day.

"During inspection, we found that this device simply doesn’t fit in definition of a lift and we believe this was done to evade all the legal and technical procedures and checks," added another officer. The report submitted to the Byculla Police clearly indicates that the lift needed to be manned by an operator which wasn't followed. The lift company, in its response, has claimed that they had asked the museum to keep a liftman in the lift.

"The lift or shaft has basic shortcomings, and the change of nomenclature was deliberate," said VT Rathod, Lift Inspector (city). "We have submitted our report to the cops and they will fix the responsibility on the lift manufacturer for delivering a skewed product or museum authorities who didn’t bother checking the authenticity of the product" he added. Byculla Police, Bhau Daji Lad Museum authorities and lift manufacturer Expert Equipments remained unavailable for comment despite repeated attempts to reach them.

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