More than 48 hours after four-year-old Mahi fell into a 68-feet-deep borewell in Manesar, the rescue team was struggling till late Friday evening to retrieve the victim.
About 100 officials drawn from the army, fire, police, health and revenue departments have been pressed into service to dig a pit parallel to the borewell at a distance of 8 feet.
A team of Gurgaon Rapid MetroRail was also called in with a big bore machine to aid the marathon rescue efforts that began at 6am on Thursday by the engineers from the army and National Security Guard (NSG) personnel.
The work, however, hit a roadblock after rescue workers lost direction and the connecting tunnel between the parallel pits opened 2 feet below the spot where Mahi is stuck.
In the second attempt, officials said, the work slowed down as rocks came in the way just one foot away from the girl.
Drilling had to be carried out manually as there was a threat of soil caving in.
The rescue workers took the help of Ground Penetrating Radar System (GPRS) to get an idea of potential underground obstruction.
A team of three army jawans has been taking turns to go inside and manually dig the connecting tunnel as shortage of oxygen leads to suffocation within 3-5 minutes.
According to an official, the supply of oxygen was provided through a pipe to the child as well as to the personnel inside the tunnel. According to the administration officials, Mahi has not responded to the oxygen supply. The district administration remained tight-lipped on Friday and did not comment on the course of action.
Mahi slipped into a borewell near Manesar's Industrial Model Township (IMT) on National Highway-8, hours after she celebrated her birthday.
Her father Neeraj Upadhyay, who hails from Aligarh, is a security supervisor at a factory in Manesar and was living in Kasan village with his wife Suman and Mahi's sibling.
Police have booked the plot owner, Rohtash Singh, a resident of Najafgarh in New Delhi. Despite several raids, he could not be arrested, said Omprakash, Manesar station house officer. The Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) had declared Gurgaon as a ‘Dark Zone’ where digging of borewell is not allowed without the permission of the DM, as per a high court directive.
According to the locals, the pit had been lying unattended for more than a month. An associate of the plot owner, however, claimed that the pit had been covered but someone had removed the lid. The plot owner owns around 50 rooms constructed there.
Workers employed at various industrial units in the IMT Manesar area stay here and the rent is collected by Satbir Yadav, the caretaker and a shopkeeper in the area.