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KHEMA Conducts Vaccination and Health Camp

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KHEMA chief guest felicitation

Event offered as part of the General Body Meeting.

The Karnataka Hydraulic and Elevator Manufacturers’ Association (KHEMA) held its General Body Meeting on August 7, during which it also presented a “Vaccination and Health Check Up Camp” in Bangalore for employees of elevator manufacturing companies, service providers, component manufacturers/suppliers and distributors. Approximately 300 people were vaccinated during the event.

Dignitaries present at the occasion as chief guests included Chief Electrical Inspectorate Theethira N. Appachu, former MLC Dr. T.A. Sharavana, Chairman of Karnataka Border Development Authority Dr. C. Somashekhara and former Chief Electrical Inspectorate D.H. Basavaraju. ELEVATOR WORLD India, as magazine partner for the event, extended its support to this timely initiative by KHEMA, and urged other associations across the country to conduct similar activities in their areas.   

Underlining the need for the authorities to consider elevator services as an essential and emergency service, Dr. B.M. Umesh Kumar, president, KHEMA, shared how the association played a key role in raising this issue during the second wave of the pandemic through a communication to KHEMA’s industrial partners. He emphasized:

“In this pandemic situation, we request all of you to please take care. COVID is not over yet; we need to fight against this deadly virus and take care of ourselves. Never neglect any small symptoms; protect and safeguard employees, technicians and their families. Kindly equip your team with all the required medical safety gadgets, like face masks/face shields, hand gloves, sanitizers, etc., and monitor the medical insurances’ timelines for the safety, also. Educate and help your community to take vaccines and follow all the COVID rules and regulations laid by the government. In these challenging and tough times, be safe and strong; we are all navigating through uncertain times.” 

Due to the continuous extension of lockdown for many weeks, elevator companies faced many grievances and continuous problems, difficulties and challenges in many ways; especially in providing their services to elevator users due to the prohibition in travel of people and materials during the lockdown period. It also adversely affected the rendering of immediate service for rescue operations, repairs to non-functioning elevators and service/regular maintenance of lifts, installation/commissioning of elevators, etc.

In view of the demands received by us on this affecting elevator services, KHEMA filed a memorandum of writ petition under article 226 of the Constitution of India on 28.05.2021 before the High Court of Karnataka, Bengaluru, to grant an order directing the respondents on the following:

  1. Consider and include elevator industry and its service as an essential/emergency service provider.
  1. Grant permission to travel for the workers and staff of industries to their workplace (i.e., installed lift locations to attend emergency breakdown/rescue, or minor repairs, if any).
  1. Include lift services in the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and allow to operate/function to render services during future lockdown periods/curfews, if any.
  1. Consider field working engineers/technicians as “Corona Warriors.”
  1. Consider the elevator industry as frontline workers, as they are directly providing the services and thus should receive preference for vaccination.
  1. As this is a continuous process, allow elevator component/accessory suppliers to operate for procurement of emergency spares required for repairs by elevator manufacturers in future lockdowns/curfews.
  1. Consider the elevator industry/service engineers/technicians/labor in the COVID-19 relief economic package and other benefits.

The KHEMA petition was listed and heard by The Justice-High Court of Karnataka from 03.06.2021 in the lockdown period, and posted for further hearings later. The High Court directed the Government Official Advocates to also file their petition.

After hearing the petitions, the High Court, by means of its order dated 14.06.2021, directed KHEMA to submit the representation again to the competent authority to consider lift/elevator services as essential and emergency service, and to permit us to operate during the lockdown/curfew period, with clear further directions for government authorities to consider its request within two weeks from the date of representation.

KHEMA gave the representation to The Chief Electrical Inspector to the Government Electrical Inspectorate, which forwarded its representation to Additional Chief Secretary to Government of Karnataka Energy Department for further action. KHEMA also submitted the representation to The Chief Secretary to the Government of Karnataka and all the competent Government of Karnataka Authorities mentioned in the petition. On this word, Kumar affirmed:

“Glad to inform that in the abovesaid judgment, received directions from the High Court of Karnataka to Government of Karnataka authorities to consider our request to render the elevator services smoothly abiding the Government’s COVID rules and regulations during the lockdown period/curfew all over Karnataka, and have assured that seeing the situations of the COVID third wave, they would take them into consideration. Our efforts will yield the results in the future lockdowns/curfews that may be imposed by the state government during the pandemic period if any.”

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