Expressing anguish over the tragic death of two-year-old Fatehveer, who failed to survive his 108-hour ordeal in a borewell in Bhagwanpura village of Sangrur, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday ordered closure of all open borewells across the state.

The CM has sought reports from deputy commissioners (DCs) on all such existing open borewells, with a direction to take immediate corrective action to prevent the recurrence of such catastrophic incidents.

Taking serious note of the incident, the CM, who had been personally monitoring the rescue operations, has asked the Disaster Management Group headed by the chief secretary to finalise a set of SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) to check and prevent such incidents.

 

The group, which had been constituted to tackle natural calamities, has also been asked to study the inadequacies, if any, in the relief operations, and give recommendations to ensure better and quicker operations in the future in case of any such or similar manmade disaster.

“Very sad to hear about the tragic death of young Fatehveer. I pray that Waheguru grants his family the strength to bear this huge loss. Have sought reports from all DCs regarding any open bore well so that such terrible accidents can be prevented in the future,” the CM earlier tweeted, soon after receiving information of young Fatehveer’s death.

 

His prayers were with the child and his family, said Amarinder, adding that the district administration had mobilised and initiated rescue operations within minutes of receiving information of the child falling into the 125-feet deep borewell at 4.15 pm on 6 June.

NDRF joined in and Army authorities at Patiala, Sangrur and at Chandimandir Command were also immediately informed.

As per reports received so far by the Chief Minister, though NDRF personnel were able to tie a knot around both the child’s wrists in less than 10 hours of arrival, the narrow diameter of the pipe caused the kid to get stuck, forcing them to give up this method, according to an official spokesperson.

Meanwhile, the JCB and other machines that were rushed to the spot dug a pit to reduce the depth from which the operations were being carried out.

All possible technical support was also provided by the district administration but it took 46 hours to dig a parallel pit and lay pipes against its wall to prevent it from caving in. But problems with the angle at which the pipe was going in further obstructed the operation, necessitating some horizontal digging also.

According to the NDRF officials, who were in constant touch with Army authorities all through the operation, no physical harm was caused to the child during the extraction process, which had to be conducted manually as use of machinery could have potentially harmed the child, especially because of the water requirement of such equipment.