Amritsar, June 9
It was the Meghalaya government that called retired mining engineer Jaswant Singh Gill to save over a dozen miners trapped in a rathole coal mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills in December, but the state government hasn’t even consulted him for the rescue of two-year-old Fatehveer Singh, who is trapped in a borewell in Sangrur for the last four days.
Gill is known for rescuing 64 people from a flooded quarry in West Bengal in 1989. Government agencies in India and Asia often consult him during emergency mining-related cases. Gill was decorated with Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak in 1991 for rescuing the miners.
Gill said, “The state government never considered my skills for rescue operations. I got information about the Sangrur toddler quite late otherwise I would have offered my services. The police or devotees of any sect are not meant for technicalities which we face during rescue operations. I would suggest use of Cactus Grab if someone falls into a borewell. But without visiting the spot, I can’t suggest anything.”
Gill claimed that the National Disaster Management teams didn’t have technical staff to tackle such things. “The child should have been rescued in less than 24 hours by using modern equipment. The ongoing efforts suggest that we are still in the 14th century. How can the toddler be saved from 150 feet deep borewell with rope and bucket?” — TNS