A man in Kasaragod district on Monday found himself trapped inside a suranga, which is a water tunnel usually built on laterite hills in Northern Kerala. The incident occurred in Puthige of Kasaragod district and the man, identified as Harshid, a resident of Kattukukke, has been trapped since Monday noon.
Harshid is a relative of the owner of the land where this suranga has been built. Around 12 pm on Monday, a small landslip was reported in the area, which caused the incident. The entrance to the suranga was blocked by mud, trapping Harshid and two other men inside.
Fire and police officials reached the spot and with the help of the local residents, began the rescue operation. The two other men, who are labourers present at the spot for their work, had not entered deep into the tunnel and were rescued by officials. However, Harshid remains trapped inside and attempts are on to rescue him. Though officials can see Harshid inside the tunnel, they are not able to get to him as yet.
Officials say that they will have to remove the mud that is blocking the tunnelâ€™s entrance so that Harshid can be rescued. Officials have deployed bulldozers to clear out the soil. Officials also removed the soil manually for more than 3 hours as part of the rescue mission.
In November 2018, a man from Badiadukka, who had entered a suranga to hunt for a porcupine, had died. Narayana Naik, 45, died after the mud slipped in the suranga. His friends were waiting outside. Though some of them tried to bring him out, their efforts went in vain. The incident had also happened in Puthige panchayat.
At the time, it had taken officials 24 hours to bring the body out. Surangas are prone to landslides and oxygen supply inside these tunnels is also lesser. Narayana's body was found half-buried in laterite soil.
Farmers, mainly in Kasaragod, depend on these natural wells. Surangas have been the sources of water during extreme drought in the district. These water tunnels provide fresh groundwater.