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Reward for reporting abandoned unplugged borewells to be offered under Tandrust Punjab Mission

Chandigarh – Targeting prompt closure of all the abandoned unplugged borewells across the State, a letter has been issued to all the Deputy Commissioners under Tandrust Punjab Mission to rope in various field departments to undertake immediate measures to fill and plug the abandoned borewells in Punjab, informed KS Pannu, Mission Director Tandrust Punjab Mission.

Giving details, he said that the abandoned borewells in the State are a cause of concern, for the safety of human beings especially that of children, as well a source of contamination of ground water.

With a view to ensure that all the abandoned borewells are properly filled and plugged, the DCs have been suggested to initiate a publicity campaign making the farmers aware about the dangers of unplugged borewells and directing them to ensure that there is no unplugged/abandoned borewell in the fields owned by them. Announcements on the village public address system should be made to this effect. The Department of Agriculture should hold meetings at the field level to identify such borewells and motivate the farmers to plug them.

It has been said that since almost all the farmers who have abandoned such borewells have obtained the power connection for alternative borewells, therefore, PSPCL officials especially those at cutting edge level like Junior Engineers should ensure that all the abandoned borewells should be plugged. Besides, the Gram Panchayats should pass a resolution after properly verifying from all the members of Gram Panchayats to the effect that there is no abandoned borewell in the revenue estate (Mauja) of the village. The Panchayat Secretary of the village may also contact all the Nambardars of the village to verify about existence of abandoned borewells in the village.

Further, the Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) and the concerned Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) should jointly tour the area and convey to the public about the seriousness of the issue and ensure filling up and plugging off all abandoned borewells in their jurisdiction. The Executive Officer/ Commissioner of Municipal Bodies should interact with all the Councilors to make them aware about the problem and suggesting them to further interact with people in their respective areas to know about the existence of any abandoned borewell and also to take necessary action to plug it.

          It has also been directed that Punjab Water Resources & Development Corporation (Tubewell Corporation) and Punjab Rural Water Supply & Sanitation Department, which are running various groundwater based drinking water supply and irrigation schemes should ensure that abandoned borewells, if any, belonging to them are plugged within a period of one month.

Going on a strict mode, it has been proposed under Tandrust Punjab Mission that criminal action should be taken against any person who does not plug such borewells within a period of one month. Any mishap in such borewells should attract penalty against the owner of the land under various provisions of Indian Penal Code by lodging FIR against such person.

The letter states that after a period of one month, Mission Tandrust Punjab shall give an advertisement asking the general public to give information about abandoned borewells still not filled and plugged. The person giving such information will be given a reward of Rs. 5000/- after verification of information.

A compliance report has been sought in this respect by the Mission Directorate within one month.

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