Cap borewells to save children, SC tells govt



New Delhi: The Supreme Court Friday directed the Centre and states to ensure capping of borewells, which in recent years have become death traps for a number of children.

A bench of Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, Justices B S Chauhan and K S Radhakrishnan asked some of the states to file their response on the steps taken so far to prevent recurrence of such incidents.

The bench passed the direction after senior counsel and amicus curiae (friend of court) Paramjit Singh Patwalia informed it that adequate response has not been received so far despite the apex court's earlier direction on February 13.

The apex court passed the direction while treating a letter as petition to evolve measures for prevention of fatal accidents of small children falling into abandoned borewells and tube wells.

It had issued notices to the Centre and some states like Uttar Pradesh, Harayana, Rajasthan and Punjab which in recent years witnessed such incidents requiring even the help of Army in rescue operations.

Several incidents of children falling into borewells have come to light since a boy, Prince, was rescued by the Army after two days of massive operation in 2006 in Kurukshetra district of Haryana.

Like Prince, a small girl Vandana was also rescued by the Army in Agra last year after a 26-hour ordeal, but others like two-year-old Sonu in the same city were not so lucky as he died by the time help reached him a 150-feet-deep borewell.

PTI