New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked all states to cap all discarded borewells in their territories and to properly fence all working wells to prevent small children falling into them.
A bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Justice B.S. Chauhan and Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan gave this direction to all the states, while also issuing notices to them to hear what they have to say on the civic menace.
The bench issued notices while treating a letter, written to it in February 2009, attracting Chief Justice Balakrishnan`s attention to the number of small children falling into open borewells as a petition.
The court had Feb 13 issued notices to four states, seeking details of the measures undertaken by them to prevent the recurrence of incidents of children falling into borewells dug in rural areas for irrigation but left open after their use.
The letter was written in the wake of a spate of incidents of small children in rural areas falling into borewell, often leading to their death.
One of the children who fell into a borewell in Uttar Pradesh was Sonu. In october 2008, the two-year-old had fallen in a 150-feet deep narrow pit in his village near Agra.
All the efforts to save Sonu had failed and his body was finally taken out of the borewell only five days later.
Similarly, in 2006, a young boy called Prince in Haryana`s Kurukshetra district fell into a deep borewell and could be saved only after days of efforts by army and police personnel.