It could take at least another 12 hours to drill the passage to the abandoned borewell in which two-year-old Sujith is trapped, Commissioner of Revenue Administration J. Radhakrishnan said in Tiruchi on Monday.
The boy fell into the borewell near his residence in Nadukattupatti near Manapparai in Tiruchirapalli on Friday evening
Given the hardened rock comprising quartz and feldspar, the high-powered German-made machine could drill only about 280-500 centimetres an hour. At this pace, it could take not less than 12 hours to reach 98 feet, unless there is some change in the composition of the ground beneath, he told reporters .
Seeking to explain the rescue mission, Dr. Radhakrishnan, however, made it clear that the efforts would not be abandoned. “In such rescue missions, the technical team will never call it quits. The efforts will continue and we will not abandon the efforts. But at the same time, we cannot give false hopes,” he said.
All technically possible efforts were being made to rescue the child. Coordinated efforts were taken in a professional manner. Initially, the ‘clamping technique,’ was tried and subsequently drilling of a passage was resorted to with the support of highly experienced mining experts from ONGC, NLC and L&T. The drilling was being done now using a rig with tungsten carbide cutting edge. “We have also consulted geologists and cement companies and all of them say that this is the best equipment used in other countries too,” he said.
This apart, suggestions and inputs from various quarters are being considered. A person from Punjab has offered to help. “Some say we could have gone for simpler solutions. If anybody has the capacity to help in this case, they are welcome to join the effort,” he said. There have been suggestions on using a balloon technique, but this would require space. The abandoned borewell in which the child is trapped is just 4.5 inches in circumference, he said.
He clarified that the child has been “air locked in its position under hydraulic method” to prevent it slipping further from its current position at 88 feet.
Answering a query, he said rain would not affect the drilling. The borewell was also well covered to prevent water entering it.
Dr. Radhakrishnan said the parents of the child were also being given counselling