KARNATAKA

Raichur district grappling with problem of open borewells

Staff Correspondent

Criminal cases to be filed against officials who fail to take action before June 30



Zilla panchayat has identified 3,965 borewells in district

Of these, about 1,135 are defunct



Raichur: The district administration does not seem to have learnt a lesson even after the Neermanvi incident which claimed the life of eight-year-old Sandeep. The boy was killed after he fell into an open defunct borewell in a field near the village in Manvi taluk in April.

Following the incident, the Government issued directions to all the district administrations to initiate measures for closing all defunct borewells that were left open. In response to the directions, the then Deputy Commissioner of Raichur N. Manjunath Prasad issued an order to the officials of the zilla, taluk and gram panchayats and tahsildars in the district to identify defunct open borewells and take action to close them by the end of May. He directed them to file criminal cases against officials if they failed to initiate action before the deadline.

The zilla panchayat identified about 3,965 borewells in the district that were dug by various government departments for implementing drinking water supply schemes. Of these, about 1,135 borewells were defunct. In the past two months, another 79 borewells were dug under various schemes in the district and 20 of them hav been kept open without fixing hand pumps. But it failed to conduct a fresh survey to identify the number of borewells in the district and new borwells dug by farmers and other private parties. According to sources in the Statistical Department here, more than 15,000 borewells had been dug for irrigation and drinking water purpose in the private sector in the past one decade. Among them, more than 6,000 borewells have become defunct and no action has been taken to close more than 2,000 of them. At a meeting of the Karnataka Development Programme held here on Monday, a unanimous resolution was passed fixing June 30 as deadline for closing all defunct open borwells in the district.

But the officials do not seem to have taken the direction seriously. A defunct borewell allegedly left open in a locality near the residence of the Deputy Commissioner is proof of this.



Zilla panchayat has identified 3,965 borewells in district

Of these, about 1,135 are defunct





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