BENGALURU: Sunday’s incident at Srirampura Metro Station, in which two-year-old Ashini fell off the escalator, has brought to the fore safety measures that need to taken by owners of buildings where escalators are installed.
It is the Department of Electrical Inspectorate (DEI) which gives permission to install a lift, escalator or passenger conveyor. The owner of a building, needs to get a no-objection certificate from the department, which gives permission only after the BBMP and Fire & Emergency Services Department gives NoC for building plans. An official in the DEI said it gives an NoC only after ensuring that escalators which meet specified standards are being installed.
Escalators have become quite common in high-rise buildings, especially malls, where footfall is high. While some malls have placed nets to avert tragedies in case of a fall, many malls have not done this as it is not compulsory. Several agencies like DEI, BBMP and Fire & Emergency Services department said that nothing could be done about dangerous gaps that would lead to such tragedies.
However, an employee of a firm which installs escalators and elevators, said on condition of anonymity, that DEI officials should also be blamed. “Responsibility also lies with the electrical inspectorate office for having given a licence to operate an escalator without safety measures in place.”
He added that all buyers want escalators installed at the least possible price. “When such is the situation, the quality will also be compromised.”