[ecis2016.org] The Maharashtra government has decided to scrap the existing Maharashtra Elevators Act and bring in a new legislation, which will also regulate escalators and moving walkways
The Maharashtra cabinet, on November 28, 2017, approved a proposal to scrap the existing Maharashtra Elevators Act, 1939 and bring a new law, which will also regulate escalators and moving walkways. The legislation, expected to be tabled in the winter session of the state legislature, beginning from December 11, 2017, provides for making third-party insurance mandatory, so that in the case of a mishap, injured persons can get compensation.
An official in the state’s Energy Department said the 1939 Act covered only elevators (lifts) and not escalators and moving walkways, which are common at shopping malls, railway stations and many other public places now. The proposed ‘Maharashtra Elevators, Escalators and Moving Walkways Legislation, 2017’, also provides for fixing the life of an elevator, so as to curb accidents.
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Moreover, the new law will be linked to the standards updated by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), to ensure that technological standards are maintained in step with the times. The new law will also determine the required strength and standards for elevators, depending upon the footfall. The official said the need for a new law was felt, as new technological innovations are now in use. Besides, the Bombay High Court had issued directions in this regard, on a Public Interest Litigation in 2015.
The draft law was prepared by a committee headed by the Chief Electrical Inspector, in consultation with private companies and maintenance service providers. The official said there are about 25,000 elevators in Mumbai alone. However, there are only 14 lift inspectors for the city. There is no official record of the number of mishaps in lifts, involving casualties.
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