Hyderabad: Thousands of abandoned borewells are posing a threat in rural Telangana. The panchayat raj and rural development department which conducted a survey in February-May 2015 after a girl died in a Ranga Reddy district borewell, found that there were around 30,000 unused borewells which have to be capped.
Then PR&RD minister K.T. Rama Rao issued orders to collectors to cap and fence abandoned borewells but nothing was done.
Mr Rao warned of police cases against the officials concerned in case a mishap occurs in an unused borewell in their jurisdiction. However, even after two years thousands of unused borewells continue to exist.
With one more girl dying in RR district on Sunday, the government has again issued directions to all collectors to cap unused borewells as per the 2013 guidelines of the Supreme Court. After the latest mishap officials closed over 5,000 unused borewells in three days in undivided RR district alone.
The main problem is the lack of monitoring of borewells. Though laws say that permission from panchayats and urban local bodies are a must to dig a borewell that remains on paper. The menace of borewells is more in Telangana due to lack of irrigation facilities. On an average, each farmer digs five borewells to irrigate a five to 10-acre field. Of this, only one yields. Normally, farmers don’t fill up failed borewells hoping that it may collect water if there are rains. So abandoned borewells exist in all villages.
PR&RD minister Jupally Krishna Rao said, “A special drive is being planned till July-end to cap unused borewells. Teams from PR&RD, revenue and local bodies will inspect all villages. If any unused borewell without cap or fencing is found after this criminal cases will be booked against the landowner and in case of deaths the officials concerned will be held responsible.”
Mr Rao said panchayats will be held responsible for borewell mishaps as they are the competent authority to approve borewells....