PIL filed in SC to take action regarding the bore well deaths
A PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court of India regarding the insufficient operations of the Government in preventing children from falling into open or abandoned bore wells and tube wells. The PIL has been filed after the incident in which a two-year-old Sujith Wilson falls into the open/abandoned bore well in Trichy, Tamil Nadu.
The incident took place on 25.10.2019. The boy stopped responding to the vocal calls from the 26th morning. His body was recovered from the borewell on 29.10.2019 in the morning.
In 2010 the Supreme Court has passed certain guidelines to prevent the death which occurs from falling into the open/abandoned tube wells.
The petitioner highlights that in 2012, Madhya Pradesh saw 67 children dying on account of falling into such bore wells and tube wells. Similar deaths have been seen in Maharashtra (39), Uttar Pradesh (19), Gujarat (18) and Tamil Nadu (13). In June this year, a two-year-old boy died in Punjab after being stuck in a bore well for nearly 110 hours. A similar death of a six-year-old was also reported from Pune.
The advocate GS Mani, who filed the PIL in the Court, contended that the Tamil Nadu State Authorities has failed to take steps to prevent the death of small children which occurs from falling into the tube wells and bore wells. Also, the Government has failed to implement the directions issued by the Supreme Court.
As mentioned above, even after passing the guidelines the number of deaths that occurred due to the falling of children in tube wells is large in number. This indicates the failure on the part of the Government to do their part to prevent the death of innocent children.
The guidelines that were passed in 2010 by the Supreme Court of India are:
- Before constructing a bore well or tube well, the owner is to inform authorities at least 15 days in advance.
- Registration is mandatory before constructing such bore wells or tube wells.
- A signboard must be erected near the bore well or tube well with details such as the address of the drilling agency, address of the owner and user agency.
- Barbed wire fencing must be put in place near the well.
- A cement of concrete platform of prescribed dimensions must be erected around the well.
- The well must be capped with a steel plate which should be strongly fixed with casing pipe, bolts, and nuts.
- If the pump is to be repaired, the well should not be left uncovered.
- Filling of mud pits and channels after the repair is completed.
- Filling up abandoned bore wells from bottom to ground with clay, sand, drill cuttings, etc.
- On completion of drilling operations, ground conditions are to be restored to how it was before the drilling.
- District Collector should be empowered to verify that these guidelines are following. The same is to be monitored as well through government authorities.
- The district/block/village wise status of bore wells/tube wells including the number of wells in use, the numbers abandoned, whether they are filled up, etc should be maintained at the District level.
- If bore wells or tube wells are abandoned at any stage, a certificate is to be obtained from the prescribed authority certifying that the well has been filled up. Random inspections should be conducted to ensure that this guideline is followed. Information on this aspect is to be maintained at the level of the District Collector/Block Development officer of the State.