'Diameter of borewells in State is smaller than in north India’

While the nation mourned the death of four-year-old Mahi, whose body was pulled out of an abandoned borewell in Gurgoan districton Sunday, experts here in the borewell industry claim that such cases of abandoned borewells claiming lives of young children in Karnataka are very rare.

This, the experts pointed out was due to the fact that the diameter of the borewells here are smaller than those found in north India. “In Karnataka, the diameter of the borewells is between 6.5 inches and 10 inches whereas in north India it is bigger, and hence the chances of small children falling into it is more,” a senior official of a borewell sinking company in Bangalore told The Hindu on condition of anonymity.

Even though the rate of failure of borewell in several regions of the State is quite high, the number of cases of children falling into the borewell is very low, as most of them are covered properly, the official pointed out. However, he recalled the incident of an 18-month-old girl by name Igavva who had fallen into a borewell in Devara Nimbaraga village of Indi taluk of Bijapur district, a few years ago.

According to experts while the diameter of the borewells in south Karnataka region was between 6.5 inches and 8 inches, it could go up to 10 inches in north Karnataka.

Normally, another official of a borewell company, said the dried up or the failed borewells are covered with boulders up to a depth of five to six feet to prevent any digging activity. “The only scare is that people try to collect the fine white sand that emerges while sinking the borewell. This could cause the exposure of the borewell mouth resulting in accidents though such disasters have not been reported so far.”

However, in urban areas, failed borewells are covered as the owners normally take care. Meanwhile, sources in the Department of Mines and Geology said that there were more than 22 lakh irrigation pumpsets attached to borewells of which a large number of borewells have failed due to depletion of the water table. But care had been taken to cover them, the official claimed.

Keywords: borewell deaths

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