The Telangana State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (TSRCDC) on Tuesday, October 5, directed the GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL) authorities to pay Rs 5 lakh as compensation to a person who suffered multiple fractures in the leg after he fell from a malfunctioning escalator. The incident took place in the Hyderabad airport in 2014. Further, the Commission also reportedly asked the authorities to pay an additional amount of Rs 10,000 to the complainant for his expenses in relation to the case.
On September 10, 2014, the complainant Subroto Banerjee (48), was supposed to catch his flight for Bengaluru. While he was proceeding to the departures section on an escalator, the machine suffered a malfunction. It slowed down and almost stopped mid-way with a jerk. Under the impact, the passengers fell over each other and Subroto got severely injured in the process. According to him, the escalator had moved in the opposite direction and others fell over him, The Indian Express reported.
Due to the accident, Subroto was bedridden for 75 days, he said. He informed the commission that he also suffered mental pain and trauma due to the incident.
However, according to The New Indian Express, the GHIAL authorities denied any malfunction in the machine. They claimed that Subroto fell accidentally, for which they bore his medical expense of Rs 1,51,468 at the time. GHIAL reportedly argued that overcrowding on the escalator led to the accident. They said that the escalator in the airport was state-of-the art technology, and that it was well-maintained. They further blamed the complainant for allegedly standing on the edge of the step and for not holding on to the railings. Dissatisfied with the argument, the commission concluded that the escalator had malfunctioned and directed GHIAL to pay the compensation of Rs 5 lakh.
In its order, the Commission reportedly said, “If an airport of an international repute has put to use the best available escalators but still if it gets stuck-up or stopped for a while, it can certainly be said to be the deficiency on the part of the functioning of the escalator which was provided by (GHIAL).”