Mumbai: The dangers posed by abandoned borewells have come to the fore again after the rescue of 11-year-old Rahul Sahu, who was pulled out from a borewell in Chhattisgarh’s Janjgir Champa district after a 104-hour-long operation.
Here are some other prominent borewell mishaps over the last few years: In 2006, a massive operation to rescue five-year-old Prince Kumar Kashyap, who had fallen into a 55-feet deep borewell in a village in Haryana’s Kurukshetra, garnered national spotlight.
Prince was pulled out safely nearly 48 hours later as the entire country watched with bated breath, hooked on to their TV screens.
Over the next few weeks, Prince garnered celebrity status and often made appearances at yagnas and events around villages in Kurukshetra district.
On June 9 this year, a two-year-old boy fell into a borewell at a farm in Gujarat’s Surendranagar district, following which a team of the Army, fire brigade, police and health officials rushed to the spot and rescued him.
On May 22 this year, a six-year-old boy, who fell into a 100-feet-deep borewell in a village in Punjab’s Hoshiarpur district died after a 9-hour-long rescue operation.
Ritesh Jawasingh Solanki, a six-year-old boy fell into a 200-feet deep borewell in Maharashtra’s Nashik district on November 15 last year. It took 16 hours for the police team to rescue him.
Two-year-old Fatehveer Singh fell into a 120-feet deep borewell in June 2019 while playing at Bhagwanpura village and despite rescue operations spanning 109 hours, he could not be saved.
The borewell was once used by Fateehveer’s family to irrigate the fields.
A massive rescue operation was launched by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team to bring the child out safely. Officials managed to supply oxygen but no food or water could be provided to him.
In May 2019, Seema, a four-year-old girl slipped into a 440-feet deep borewell in Jodhpur’s Melana village. Seema was stuck at a depth of 260-feet inside the borewell and her body was pulled out after a 14-hour operation.
The tubewell at the farm had broken down and the girl’s father had taken the pump out for repairing, leaving the borewell open.
A one-and-half-year old boy, Nadeem, fell into a ten-inch wide and 55-feet deep borewell in Balsamand village of Hisar district in March 2019. The NDRF and the Army were pressed into service and the toddler was finally rescued after a 48-hour long operation.
Almost 40 JCB machines were pressed into service for digging a parallel pit and about 100 men from the Army and the NDRF participated in the operation apart from 150 policemen.
In June 2012, five-year-old Mahi fell to her death in a 60-foot abandoned borewell while playing with her friends. The girl could not be saved, despite a massive effort by Army and district administration for five days.
A huge rock was a major hurdle that the rescuers had been struggling to break for three days. The slab was located in the horizontal tunnel between the borewell and the pit dug up to rescue the child.
A six-year-old boy fell into a 200-feet deep borewell in Pune district in February 2021.
In May 2017, Sai Barhate, a seven-year-old boy fell into a borewell in Kopargaon tehsil of Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district. He could not be saved.
In 2009, the Supreme Court had issued guidelines for preventing fatal accidents of children falling into abandoned borewells. The revised guidelines issued by the court in 2010 included setting up barbed wire fencing around the well during construction, using a steel plate covers fixed with bolts over the well assembly and filling up of borewells from the bottom to the ground level.