Almost 40 hours after six-year-old Kaveri fell into an open borewell at Zunjarwad village in Belagavi district, rescue operations are still on. Hopes of rescuing the little girl has faded even as rescuers have ensured oxygen supply into the borewell.
The police now say that the rescuers will need at least five more hours to be able to reach Kaveri.
Kaveri is stuck inside a 25 feet open borewell and experts have planned to dig another tunnel parallel to the borewell at a distance of 10 feet to rescue the girl.
After nearly 27 hours of operation the rescuers were able to complete hardly 50% of the work when they hit a hard rock on the surface making the rescue operation even more difficult.
"We don’t know how long it may take to rescue Kaveri. We expect to reach her within a couple of hours,” said Belagavi SP, Ravikanthe Gowda.
Four JCBs and three Hitachi machines are being used to dig a parallel line but the hard rock is creating hurdles in the operation. Nearly 500 personnels, including a five-member National Disaster Rescue Force (NDRF) from Pune, headed by SK Tiwari, a state disaster management team headed by Basavaraj Hiremath, seven fire fighters, 20 soldiers from the Maratha Light Infantry Regimental Centre, members of the Raichur Gold Mines, Hescom and police officials are engaged in rescuing Kaveri.
However, rescuers are doubtful about whether Kaveri is still alive, even though they believe there is enough oxygen supply available, as they have removed a lot of the soil. After the digging began, rescuers could see her hand and it appeared to be swollen but the camera lowered inside the borewell showed no bodily movement.
“The team has locked Kaveri’s hand and frock with a hook to prevent her from slipping deeper into the borewell, and wanted to pull her up with the hook or a hand lock. Digging was stopped and five attempts were made to pull her up. When this failed, we began digging the parallel tunnel,” SP Gowda added.
An inconsolable Savita, Kaveri’s mother, refused to eat or drink until her daughter was found. Savita became unconscious and was taken to the primary health centre.
“I just want to see my daughter. I can’t say or do or think about anything but her. I want her to be safe. Some people are saying that she may not be alive. I don’t want to give up hope. She’s so little. She still has not lived her life completely. I hope god answers my prayers and brings her back to me,” a sobbing Savita said.
Kaveri’s uncle, Sadashiva, unable to control his tears, appealed to the government to take stringent action against those who neglected to cap the borewell.
“She’s just six-years old. She must be so scared. We have been so worried and terrified. I cannot even imagine what Kaveri is going through. All such open borewells must be identified and capped. I don’t want any other family to go through what we are,” Sadashiva told TNM.
The borewell owner, Shankarappa has absconded and the police are looking out for him. A case of criminal negligence has been filed against Shankarappa.