Government seeks list of open borewells in Karnataka
Bengaluru: Amidst marathon efforts to rescue a six-year-old boy trapped in a borewell in Bagalkot District, the State Government has ordered the District Commissioners to prepare the list of open borewells in the state before August 31. Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) Minister H. K. Patil told Deccan Chronicle that the order will be sent to all the District HQs on Wednesday and by August 31 the government will have a list of open borewells.
“We shall initiate actions through District administrations to close such borewells on war footing to avoid such incidents in the future,” Mr Patil said.
It’s now been over 50 hours that a team of hundred plus rescuers are trying to the reach the boy who is said to be stuck in a defunct borewell 160 feet deep.
The latest tragedy has shaken up the administration and RDPR Deputy Secretary Ramakrishna said that state Additional Chief Secretary will be holding video conference with all the DCs on Wednesday. “There are close to 15 lakh borewells, among which about 3 lakh were dug by the government for various drinking water projects. It’s the borewells in private lands which have been kept open, hoping to tap some water during the monsoon months.
These borewells often become death trap for the children. Such borewells will be identified in the coming days and closing of such death traps will be taken up,” Mr Ramakrishna said.
“A committee comprising stakeholders from various departments such as Revenue, RDPR and Ground Water Regulatory Authority will be formed to ensure that accidents involving children and open borewells do not occur in the future,” Mr Ramakrishna added.
On Wednesday, RDPR Minister is also expected to announce the new guidelines for borewell drilling and maintenance of the open borewells.
Some borewells capped
At least ten open borewells were capped in northern parts of the state followed by the accident at Bagalkot involving a six-year-old boy. In Raichur an open borewell that was located near the road was closed by villagers. Similar efforts were made in Gulbarga and Bijapur districts