Delhi’s Tourism dept denied permission to operate inclined lifts for tourists in Signature Bridge



NEW DELHI: Delhiites will have to wait longer to get a bird’s eye view of the city from 154-metre-height of the Signature Bridge as the tourism department could not get permission from concerned authorities to operate inclined lifts to ferry tourists to a viewing gallery set up atop the pylon, officials said.

Officials of the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC) said there are four lifts installed in legs of the pylon of the bridge.

Two lifts are inclined at an angle of 60 degrees and two at the 80 degrees.

They said statutory permission is required from the electrical branch of the labour department of the Delhi government to start operations and take tourists to a glass facade (viewing gallery) that has been built atop the bow-shaped steel pylon — twice the height of Qutub Minar — of the country’s first asymmetrical cable-stayed bridge.

The height of Qutub Minar is about 73 metres.

“The electrical wing of the labour department did not give us the permission to use these inclined lifts to ferry passengers to the viewing gallery. The permission was denied because of inclined nature of these lifts,” a senior DTTDC official said on condition of anonymity.

The official, however, said lifts can be used for maintenance purposes of the Signature Bridge.

Explaining the reason behind not getting the approval, another DTTDC official said that lifts installed in the pylon of the Signature Bridge are slant while only vertical lifts are given permission to be operated in Delhi.

“In Delhi, lifts are given permission in accordance with the Bombay Lifts Act 1939. This Act was adopted by Delhi in 1942. At that time, the concept of elevators was not very common and mostly vertical lifts were in use. So, the Act gives permission only for the operation of vertical lifts to ferry passengers.”

“This is the main reason we are not able to get approval despite meeting all international standards and safeguards,” the official said.

He added that now the scenario has changed as the use of inclined lifts can be seen at a number of projects worldwide such as Eiffel Tower in Paris.

“We will now consult national and international experts on the subject. We will try to convince the government to allow the use of inclined lifts as we have taken all necessary safeguards of international standards. We will again make our representation in the future,” the official said.

The DTTDC officials said that inclined lifts in the steel pylon of the bridge were installed by an Italian company, which is a pioneer in this field, and arrangement of all necessary safety measures were also made.

The all-glass viewing gallery will offer a panoramic view of the river Yamuna and the city and will have four levels with a spiral staircase.

If allowed, it will take about half-an-hour to transport people up to the deck as the speed of elevators will be very slow and only four people can be ferried in one lift in one go, officials said.

The glass gallery can accommodate around 50 people at a time.

The Signature Bridge was built at a cost of Rs 1,518.37 crore by the Public Works Department (PWD).

It was opened for commuters in November 2018.

The bridge, which connects Outer Ring Road with Karawal Nagar and Bhajanpura in northeast Delhi, boasts of 127 strands of steel cables and is projected as India’s first ‘asymmetrical cable-stayed bridge’.

However, work on the construction of lifts and viewing gallery continued for more than a year.

It was handed over to the DTTDC in 2020 for development of tourism activities.

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