Despite repeated incidents of children falling into open borewells in rural areas of Madhya Pradesh, the district administrations still don’t know how to stop such tragic accidents or whom to hold accountable for it.
Chief secretary Antony de Sa, however, said that even if there had been no action in such cases till now, he would ensure that action is taken.
He said that all the borewells where such incidents have taken place are private borewells and it’s duty of those who got the borewell dug to get them covered.
“It’s responsibility of the people too to see that borewells are covered and wells have the protection wall, so that such incidents are avoided.”
Five children have lost lives in six incidents in Madhya Pradesh since 2009 including one in Morena in which three-year-old Raghav Sharma died after falling into an open borewell on Tuesday.
But, no action has followed against anyone in any of the cases.
Of the six accidents, only one child could be saved.
In 2009, a two-and-a half year-old child had fallen into a borewell, which was dry, in Sajapur district. He was rescued after 14 hours.
Morena collector Vinod Sharma said action was not being taken against anyone in this case but a strategy was being formed to see that such incidents were not repeated.
“I have formed a special team including officials of three departments- Panchayat, PHE and revenue department. The team will carry out physical survey across the district and owners of borewell, whose borewell is found open, will be asked to cover up the borewell within 15 days and those who don’t follow the instruction, would be punished,” he said.
Sharma, however, didn’t know whom to hold responsible for Raghav’s tragic death.
District collector, Harda, Rajneesh Shrivastava, when asked as to who was responsible for ensuring that the borewells were covered, said that the “district administration is responsible to ensure that all the borewells are properly covered.
According to rules, Patwari is district administration’s representative to check up the private borewell and PHE department is responsible for government borewell,” the officer said.
February 2015: Ajay Survanshi of Nipania Vaidhyania village in Agar Malwa district fell into an open borewell. A day later, his body was retrieved
December 2014: Three-year-old Krishna Lodhi of Lidhore village in Chhatarpur district fell into a borewell. His body was taken out after 36 hours
July 2014: Krishnapal Singh of Karula village in Shajapur district fell into a borewell. When rescuers reached him after 20 hours, he was already dead
March 2010: A five-year-old boy fell into a borewell at Malvasa village in Ratlam district and died.