news Friday, August 08, 2014 - 05:30
Abhay P| The News Minute| August 7, 2014| 12.01 am IST| Updated August 8, 2014| 1.00 pm IST The nondescript village of Sulikere is abuzz with activity. For over five days now, the villagers have been leaving their daily chores and making their way to a sugar cane field and spending their day observing the feverish activity there. On Sunday, 6-year old Thimanna, while taking his relatives on a tour of his father's farm fell into a narrow bore well that his father had abandoned over 15 days ago. He was 15 feet below ground level when he initially fell but is now stuck at over 160 feet, with no oxygen, water or food. While his anxious family waits for any news of the 6-year old Thimanna's precarious condition, for the boy's father, Hanumappa Hatti, hope is fading away, and rapidly. A frail Hanumappa has been pleading with the authorities to just let go, not to continue with the digging. He knows he has lost his son, but his pleas are falling on deaf ears. Hanumappa knows that the excavators at work are ruining his fields, his only source of livelihood. This year's produce is doomed, his sugar cane fields is almost in absolute ruins...with curious onlookers coming in hordes every day turning it into a picnic spot, and the rescue operation team digging up the field at will. To an outsider, the natural question that comes to the mind is, how could a father not want his son to be rescued? Or rather, would he not want to retrieve his son's body? But Hanumappa has a large family, including two young daughters to take care of and the worse is not yet over for him. He will be booked for having gotten an unauthorised bore well dug in the days to come. Hanumappa's relative says, "We know that Thimanna may be no more. What is the point now?"  But Hanumappa's requests have been completely rejected by the government and the rescue operation team in their effort to create a tunnel has dug up an entire stretch of the farm. "The foul smell emanating from the borewell is a sign of decomposition of Thimanna's body. It is a sign of death as he appears to have succumbed due to asphyxia (deficient supply of oxygen)," district medical officer B.D. Kittur says. The family now wants the administration to close the borewell, put some sand and lay their son to rest. Numerous attempts over the last few days have failed, but the work goes on relentlessly.  But when the rescue operations come to an end, as men and machines move out, will anything change? Well, the people of Bagalkot don't seem to think so. After the media glare shifts out of the town, things will return back to normal. Nobody here seems to think that leaving an open bore well is a crime nor do they hold government officials responsible for something like this. The minister in charge of the district, SR Patil who has been at the site since day one too is of the opinion that the officials should not be at the receiving end and said that in his personal opinion, the suspension of the two officials is unjustified. The government is dealing with rescue operations on a trial and error basis. After the 'robotic expert' by Manje Gowda not just failed but also wasted precious time and made the task more arduous by accidentally casting more mud on Thimanna, another self professed expert has been called in, this time from Madurai. Repeated efforts by Manikandan too have failed. The government, as confessed by the DC of Bagalkot Meghannavar, has very little or no credible idea about the expertise of any of these 'technology experts' and are just going by hearsay.  Read- Bore Well Robots – Backed Neither By Science Nor Success Refusing to either strictly enforce already set guidelines for digging bore wells or to invest any money in technology for rescue operations, the government is just dealing with these accidents, case by case. Till any of this changes, more innocent lives will be lost in such mishaps and the entire rescue operation will be nothing more than a mere spectacle.

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