Ghaziabad: Not a happy ending for Riviera puppy rescue mission
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Ghaziabad: Not a happy ending for Riviera puppy rescue mission

Despite a 24-hour-long joint rescue operation of the activists, residents and authorities, the puppy caught in a borewell pipe could not be saved. The body of the animal also could not be retrieved.

Ghaziabad: Not a happy ending for Riviera puppy rescue mission

A corner of the central park in Shipra Riviera, Indirapuram, will not be the same for Devyani Swaroop, a resident. This corner, which earlier had an unused open borewell, will be remembered by Swaroop as the ill-fated patch that claimed the life of a stray puppy she used to care for. The puppy had fallen into the 27-ft-deep borewell around 4 pm yesterday and was declared dead this afternoon.

Residents had roped in animal rights activists, the fire department, the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) and the local police for a rescue operation. However, despite a 24-hour-long joint rescue operation, the puppy could not be pulled out of the borewell. The body of the animal could not be retrieved.

It was confirmed around 3.30 pm today that the puppy had died, as it had stopped responding to proddings and lay motionless at the bottom of the borewell with its mouth open.

The remarkable part about the incident is the amount of effort mobilised by the residents, activists and the authorities to retrieve the puppy that was born to a stray canine.

The incident reminds us of a similar case involving Prince, a human child, who was rescued (after a two-day-long operation) from a 60-ft-deep borewell, in Haryana, in 2006. However, the little puppy was not as lucky as Prince.

Activists involved in the rescue operation alleged that the GDA officials had not put in sufficient effort. Incidentally, the activists had also employed labourers who dug another 20-ft-deep pit beside the borewell. GDA officials stopped them from digging further, saying that the ground could cave in, causing another disaster. 

Both the pit and the borewell have now been covered and sealed.

Speaking to City Spidey, officials of the fire department said that the situation was too complex and that too much was at stake. “We did whatever we could but the puppy could not be saved. There was too much at risk. There were two buildings within 8 feet of the borewell. Besides, digging a deeper hole could also put the labourers at risk. Two teams of eight firemen were also deployed for the rescue effort,” said Somdath Sonkar, fire station officer(FSO) of Vaishali Fire Station.

A JCB digging vehicle was also deployed at the scene by Ritu Maheshwari, Vice Chairman of GDA. However, it could not be put into action, as officials of GDA said it was too risky to dig the ground near the buildings, as they were fairly old.

Speaking to City Spidey, PK Banerjee, RWA president of the society, said that the borewell was around five years old and was actually covered. “It could have been uncovered by the children playing in the park. Now, the pit has been covered and I have also instructed the staff of the society management to keep residents away from the spot,” Banerjee added.

However, Banerjee also took a jab at animal welfare NGOs responsible for sterilisation of stray dogs. “If the agencies had done their job well, the puppies would not be there in the first place,” she added.