Following a number of incidents of children falling in abandoned and open borewells across Haryana, including Gurgaon, where a 4-year-old girl lost her life in June last year, the Haryana government has asked the authorities to follow the Supreme Court guidelines in this regard.
In a written communication addressed to all officers of state government departments, they have been asked to follow the Supreme Court guidelines issued in 2009 when the court had taken suo motu initiative following various cases of children being trapped or falling into borewells or abandoned wells.
The guidelines state that the land owner has to inform in writing the district collector or district magistrate or sarpanch of a gram panchayat or officers concerned of the department of public health and municipal corporation, at least 15 days prior before constructing a borewell.
The registration of all government, semi-government and private agencies should be mandatory with the district administration.
At the time of construction, signboards should be installed near the well with details of the drilling agency and address of the owner.
Barbed wire fencing or a suitable barrier should be installed around the well during construction. A platform of cement or concrete measuring 0.30 metres above the ground level and 0.30 metres below ground level should be constructed around the well casing.
If the pump is being repaired, the tubewell should not be left uncovered. After the work is completed, mud pits and channels should be filled. The abandoned borewell should be filled with clay, sand or pebbles.
The district collector should be empowered to inspect whether the guidelines are being followed. Proper monitoring of borewells should be taken care of by the state or central government agencies concerned.
Mahi Upadhayay (4) had slipped into a 68-feet-deep and 1.5-feet-wide borewell in Manesar on June 20 last year. Her body was retrieved four days after the incident with the help of the Army, NSG and Gurgaon police. The plot owner, where the pit was dug, was booked on the charges of culpable homicide.