K'taka: Efforts on to rescue boy trapped in borewell

K'taka: Efforts on to rescue boy trapped in borewell

Intense efforts were underway today to pull out a six-year-old boy trapped in an abandoned borewell at a farm in nearby Sulikeri village.

Teams from National Disaster Relief Force, nearby Hutti gold mines and fire brigade were engaged in the operation to rescue Thimmanna Hatti, reportedly stuck at a depth of 160 feet in the 300 feet borewell, officials said.

A robot with camera was lowered into the borewell but initial attempts hit a block as it faced a rock at a depth of about 140 feet, Manje Gowda, who is heading the robot team, said.

A parallel pit is also being dug to gain access to the boy, studying in Class I, who fell into the borewell yesterday afternoon in his father's sugarcane field while he was with his cousin.

District and police officials at the site said oxygen is being supplied to the boy.

District-in-charge minister S R Patil and senior officials of district administration and police are camping at the site overseeing the operation which continued overnight.

Hundreds of people gathered in the area around the site, impeding operations at times. This is the second incident after the one on June 17, when a four-year-old girl fell into an open borewell at Nagathana village near neighbouring Bijapur and was found dead after a 50-hour-long rescue operation.

Home Minister K J George told reporters in Bangalore that strict action will be taken against borewell owners, borewell companies and concerned Gram Panchayat officials who do not take steps for closing the open borewells.

"Companies which leave 6-9 inches (diameter) borewell open will be held responsible along with Gram Panchayat officials and borewell owners. Strict action will be taken against them," he said.

George said government is making all efforts to rescue Thimmanna. "Our district incharge Minister S R Patil, Bagalkot Deputy Commissioner P A Meghannavar and other officials are camping at the site and supervising rescue operations."

He also said in the light of such tragedies, the government has issued guidelines for taking preventive measures to avoid children falling into open borewells.

According to the guidelines issued by the Rural Development and Panchayati Raj department, July 15 was the deadline for closing open borewells.

The government had also formed a team of engineers and other officials to conduct joint survey and submit a report on the number of open borewells identified and closed, George said.

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