Law Department, Government of West Bengal (“State Government”), through a notification in the official gazette dated 10th January, 2020, has brought in the West Bengal Lifts, Escalators and Travelators Act, 2019 (“New Act”), repealing the old West Bengal Lifts and Escalators Act, 1955 (“Old Act”). The date from which the New Act will become effective will be notified further by the State Government through a notification in the official gazette.
The new act, in addition to the installation, maintenance and safe working of lifts and escalators provided for in the Old Act, brings travelators within its ambit.
The implications under the New Act as against the Old Act are as follows:
- The prime change brought in by the New Act is the inclusion of travelators within its scope. Under the New Act, a travellator has been defined as follows:
“travelator” means a kind of escalator which is also known as moving walkway having angle of inclination normally within 10° and pallet width of minimum 800 mm and will follow the International Standards till any Indian Standard comes in force.
This inclusion is in keeping with the changing technologies and the developments that have led to the emergence of moving walkways that are commonly seen at airports. The Act aims to regulate the use of such walkways and mandates the obtaining of permission, licenses, etc. with regard to the same.
- When the New Act comes into force, any licence for existing lifts, escalators or travelators working, that had been granted by the Old Act, will be deemed to be granted under the provisions of the New Act. Certificates for such existing lifts, escalators or travelators will be continue to be valid up to the date mentioned in the license, but on expiry, will have to be renewed as per provisions of the New Act.
- The Old Act exempted lifts and escalators of any mine (falling under the ambit of the Mines Act, 1952) or of any establishment covered by the Factories Act, 1948. The New Act, in addition to the said establishments, have also exempted other establishments under the Central and State Government.
Further changes may be noticed when the rules under the New Act are brought in by the State Government.