An operation is underway to rescue and save a child who fell and got stuck in a borewell at a village in north Karnataka’s Belagavi district, said an official on Sunday. “Hard soil and rocks around the borewell are hampering the operation to rescue six-year-old Kaveri, trapped in the borewell when she slipped and fell on Saturday evening while playing with friends,” a National Disaster Response Force member told reporters here.
Jhunjarawadi village in Athani taluk of this district where the accident occurred is 145 km from Belagavi district town and 640 km from the state’s capital Bengaluru. “We have dug a 10-foot tunnel so far and efforts are on to dig 20 feet more to reach Kaveri and pull her out of the borewell at the earliest,” the member said.
The team also attempted to pull out Kaveri with hooks and ropes from the narrow and dark hole but did not succeed,” the official lamented. The child’s mother Savitha was rushed to a nearby state-run hospital for treatment after she fainted on learning about her daughter’s plight.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said in Bengaluru that a criminal case would be filed against those responsible for the girl’s accidental fall into the borewell. “It is the responsibility of the landowner and borewell contractor to inform the gram panchayat about the borewell being open, and without covering or fencing it,” added Siddaramaiah.
In a related development, Bharatiya Janata Party’s state unit President B.S. Yeddyurappa urged the state government to take steps to prevent children becoming victims of such open borewells. “Such a tragedy can be averted if the authorities covered or shut down the borewell, which dried up due to severe drought and scorching summer in the region,” said Yeddyurappa in Bengaluru.