CHANDIGARH: The Punjab government has proposed a criminal action against any person who does not plug open borewells in a bid to curb borewell deaths. Setting a month-long deadline to cover up these ‘deathtraps’, the state government has mandated a penalty and a case under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the owner of the land where any borewell-related mishap takes place.
A letter has been issued to all the Deputy Commissioners in this regard which states that after a month, Mission Tandrust Punjab shall give an advertisement asking the general public to give information about abandoned borewells still not plugged. The person giving such information will be given a reward of `5000 upon verification.
The Punjab Water Resources and Development Corporation (Tubewell Corporation) and Punjab Rural Water Supply & Sanitation Department, which are running various groundwater based drinking water supply and irrigation schemes will have to ensure that abandoned borewells, if any, belonging to them are plugged within the stipulated period.
KS Pannu, Mission Director of the Tandrust Punjab Mission said that the abandoned borewells in the state are a cause of concern, for the safety of children, other than being a source of ground water contamination.
Gram Panchayats have also been instructed to pass a resolution after properly verifying from all the members of the panchayats that there is no abandoned borewell in the revenue estate (Mauja) of the village.
Action after death
The action came after a 2-year-old child died after being stuck in an abandoned borewell for more than 110 hours in Sangrur of Punjab