Efforts on to reach boy trapped in borewell

Digging of a tunnel adjacent to the borewell at Sulikeri to reach six-year-old Thimmanna Hatti, who is trapped in it, continued for the fifth day, on Thursday.

The relentless rescue operation, which began on Sunday, to save the boy, now presumed dead, has still not borne fruit, as it has become a daunting and expensive task. 

With several alternatives, including robot operation, failing to yield desired result, officials have been left with no option but to dig a 160 ft tunnel. 

With 90 ft having been dug, another 70 ft still remains. 

Sources said a U-shape tunnel is being currently, and the exercise to extract eight lakh cubic metre of soil, may cost several crores. The operation has been ceaselessly continued despite a district surgeon stating that the boy may be dead. 

Meanwhile, Minister for Rural Development & Panchayat Raj H K Patil, averred the government will bear the cost of restoring the agricultural land of Hanumappa Hatti.

“We will bear the cost of levelling the land, which has been excavated to retrieve Thimmanna. The work should last only two or three days,” Patil said.

 It is said the government has already spent Rs 50 lakh for excavation, and it may cost additional Rs 50 lakh to level the field. Patil said the Panchayat Development Officer concerned will be held responsible for having failed to safeguard the life of the boy despite guidelines for digging borewells being issued on June 29.

Patil has appealed to the agitating PDOs to stop the protest, as the PDO in-charge of Suilkeri village is directly responsible for the negligence. 

Home Minister K J George said senior police officers in Badami were contemplating filing criminal charges against those responsible.

HC notice

The High Court, on Thursday, ordered notices to the State government and Deputy Commissioner of Bagalkot District  to implement the Supreme Court guidelines on managing defunct borewells.

Hearing a PIL filed by Karnataka State Legal Services Authority about borewell maintenance, a division bench headed by Chief Justice DH Waghela observed that deputy commissioners of all districts are equally responsible for such accidents by not implementing the SC guidelines.  

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