Open borewell owners to face legal action under Punjab government
After ordering sealing of abandoned borewells, the Punjab government has asked the deputy commissioners to initiate criminal action against people who do not plug their borewells.
“Any mishap in such borewell should attract penalty against the owner of the land under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code,” Tandrust Punjab Mission director KS Pannu said in an official release here.
Chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh had ordered plugging of all open borewells after the Sangrur incident in which a two-year-old child died after being remaining trapped in an unused borewell for 110 hours.
Pannu said the abandoned borewells were a cause of concern for the safety of people, especially that of children, as well a source of contamination of ground water.
He said a letter has been issued to all the deputy commissioners under Tandrust Punjab Mission to rope in various field departments to undertake immediate measures to fill and plug such borewells. The DCs have been suggested to initiate a publicity campaign making the farmers aware of the dangers of unplugged borewells and directing them to ensure that there is no unplugged/abandoned borewell in the fields owned by them.
The Punjab Water Resources & Development Corporation (Tubewell Corporation) and Punjab Rural Water Supply & Sanitation Department, which run various groundwater based drinking water supply and irrigation schemes, have been directed to ensure that abandoned borewells belonging to them are plugged within a month.
Also, the department has decided to give ₹5,000 as reward to those who give information about the abandoned borewells that have not been plugged. The reward scheme will be started after a month.