Following the death of a two-year-old boy, who was stuck in a 150-feet deep borewell in Punjab for nearly 109 hours, about 45 open borewells in the state have been sealed to avoid more incidents.
According to reports, the boy, Fatehveer Singh, was playing near his house last Thursday when he accidentally stepped on a piece of cloth covering the mouth of the seven-inch-wide borewell. Stuck at a depth of 125 feet, officials were unsuccessful in providing him with food or water.
He spent nearly 109 hours inside the 150-foot-deep borewell in Sangrur district's Bhagwanpura village before rescue workers pulled him out on Tuesday morning. He was taken to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh, where doctors pronounced him dead.
The District Commissioners submitted reports on the status of the borewells in their respective districts to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who on Tuesday sought details on open borewells with directions for their immediate closure.
The reports indicate that of the 45 borewells sealed so far, 26 were located in Fatehgarh Sahib district -- 13 each were found in Bassi Pathana and Khera blocks. Another eight were closed in Mansa district, three each in Patiala and Kapurthala, two in Gurdaspur district and one each in Ropar and Hoshiarpur districts. In Ropar, where 19 borewells are reported to be lying open, one has been covered and the process to close the rest is on.
Ferozepur, Faridkot, Sri Muktsar Sahib, and Taran Taran districts did not have any open borewells, according to an official spokesperson.
The Chief Minister on Tuesday also asked the Disaster Management Group headed by the Chief Secretary to finalise a set of Standard Operating Procedures to check and prevent such incidents in the future.
Captain Amarinder had made it clear that he did not want any more lives to be lost in the state in future on account of open borewells.