CERS issues notices to Guj Govt, 2 hospitals

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Ahmedabad, Aug 18 (UNI) Consumer Education and Research Society (CERS) today issued legal notices to the Chief Electrical Inspector of Gujarat, and the directors of the V S Hospital and the civil hospital here for their alleged negligence in the collapse of lifts at the two public places.

CERS alleged that the chief electrical inspector, the monitoring agency, had failed to ensure the safety of the citizens. The department concerned has six lift inspectors, who monitor more than 15,000 lifts in Gujarat, more than 40 per cent of the lifts operate without valid licences and annual maintenance contracts are given to non-qualified contractors.

The lift at the V S Hospital collapsed on January 24 this year, when its cables snapped and the lift dropped from the third floor to the ground floor, where no buffer spring had been installed to reduce the impact of the fall. The liftman, a nurse and a girl received minor injuries.

It was noticed that the licence for the lift had not been renewed after November 19, 2004. A letter, written by the Medical Superintendent of Hospital to the government, stated that all the defects of the lift would be attended to in a year's time. It means the lift was allowed to remain in service without removal of the defects. The government did not check the renewal of licence and permitted the defective lift to operate, added CERS.

In another case that of the Gujarat Cancer Research Institute at the civil hospital here, a resident of Modasa had brought his wife for a check-up on June 24 and opened the door of the lift on the second floor. The door opened without the lift and the husband fell from the second to the ground floor, fracturing his left leg and right arm. The opening of the door without the lift being parked on the floor is a violation of Rule 33(a) of Gujarat Lifts and Escalators Rules-2001, it stated.

There were many violations in the functioning of lifts such as not displaying a copy of the licence, not fitted with the emergency light and telephone or the call button, CERS added.

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