Hours after the death of a toddler inside a borewell in Tamil Nadu’s Trichy district, the Madras high court on Tuesday (October 29) appealed to the media to create more awareness over the issue of leaving borewells open.
The toddler, two-year-old Sujith Wilson, was declared dead late on Monday night, after over three days of rescue operations. He had fallen into the abandoned borewell on Friday.
In this regard, Ponraj, the former personal assistant of former president APJ Abdul Kalam, moved a plea on Tuesday claiming that the state government had failed to implement the guidelines of the Supreme Court over the issue of abandoned borewells. He also alleged that it was this failure of the government that led to the death of Sujith.
While hearing the plea on an urgent basis, a divisional bench of justices M Sathyanarayanan and N Seshayee expressed disappointment with the government and asked whether it would initiate action on every issue only after such issues claim human lives.
The bench also asked the state government to file a report on the action being taken to prevent deaths due to abandoned borewells and also the steps taken to implement the guidelines laid down by the top court.
Further observing that the death of the toddler was a loss for the nation, it asked the media, particularly the visual media, to give more time to create awareness on such social issues.
CM’s appeal to close unused borewells
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Tuesday condoled the death of Sujith and appealed to the public to close abandoned pits in and around their residence. “I extend my deep and my sad condolences to Sujith’s parents and relatives,” he said in a statement.
Further stating that the guidelines set by top court were notified in the state government’s gazette, Palaniswami said that he has instructed all the district collectors to ensure that no unused borewell is left open.
DMK president MK Stalin visited Trichy on Tuesday to console Sujith’s family members and paid last respect to the two-year-old. Thereafter, he asked his party cadre across the state to get details of open wells and submit to the district collectors to initiate action to close it. He further alleged that the state government failed in rescuing Sujith since it did not have any proper plan.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board ordered to close all unused borewells and convert them into rainwater harvesting pits within 24 hours. It has also come out with a helpline (94458 02145) for the public to inform them about unused open borewells in their locality.