Borewell drillers’ tragic death leaves unanswered questions

One month after the shocking death of a borewell worker, no one in BBMP or BWSSB seems to be in position to give a clear picture of what went wrong.

As a response to water shortage, four bore wells were sanctioned under the councillors quota for every ward. Unfortunately in BTM layout, the program resulted in two tragic deaths, on 16th Main Road, in II Stage.

borewell work results in death

On June 15th, one of the crew members of the borewell firm that got the contract, took the first step to raise the bore motor to start drilling. While raising it, the equipment touched the electricity line above. Power was not shut down in these lines leading to the operator’s death within a fraction of a second. One co-worker tried to save him but even he got electrocuted. He died while he was on the way to hospital. The firm’s name, as reported by the DNA is Renuka Borewells, based in Nelamangala, near Peenya.

One month after the tragedy, no one in the administration – BBMP, Corporator G N R Babu, or BWSSB officials – seems to be in position to give a clear picture of what went wrong and whether the borewell firm itself was at fault. There is also no information on whether any compensation or damages were given to anyone.

BESCOM BTM Layout’s Assistant Engineer Ewesharappa says that he received no prior intimation about the work from BBMP or any other agency.

Oddly enough, the firm ‘Renuka Borewells’ is not traceable. The firm’s phone numbers don’t seem valid. The firm is also not listed in major online phone directories or in BSNLs’ landline directory for Nelamangala.

Initially, BTM Layout corporator G N R Babu told Citizen Matters that the BWSSB had given Rs 2 lakh per head to the contractor. However Babu could not confirm this and his assistant Gururaj said this was only a rumour.

There is no confirmed word that the BBMP has given any compensation or has received such a request. Citizen Matters talked to Narayana Gowda, an engineer with the BBMP’s borewell project. Gowda was aware of the accident, but did not throw any more light on it. “I don’t know any thing about the compensation, it is contractors responsibility to take care if some thing has happened”, says Gowda.

Mallikarjun, Assistant Works Engineer with BTM Layout’s BWSSB, was not reachable for any comments. Babu however says the project will continue next week.

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