Hyderabad: Senior Telangana Congress leader Mohammed Shabbir Ali on Wednesday accused the state government, and Municipal Administration Minister KT Rama Rao (KTR) in particular, of ‘negligence’ leading to the loss of three innocent lives in rain-related incidents in the past four days.
He asserted that the government’s failure to address critical infrastructure issues, such as open drains and electrical safety, has resulted in these preventable tragedies.
“The first incident took place on 29 April when Mounika, a 10-year-old girl, fell into an open drain in Secunderabad due to alleged civic authority negligence. Despite the Disaster Response Force’s efforts, her life was cut short. While two GHMC officials were suspended, no senior officials faced any consequences,” he said.
On 30 April, 44-year-old Greyhounds constable Solem Veeraswamy died of electrocution at the Jubilee Hills Checkpost. The tragedy occurred when Veeraswamy lost control of his motorcycle near a rainwater-filled puddle, which may have concealed a faulty electrical leakage from a nearby pole. Shabbir said this death could have been prevented had proper safety measures been in place.
The third incident saw six-year-old Vivek drown after falling into an open pit filled with rainwater in the Jubilee Hills area. GHMC has denied responsibility for this incident, claiming the site was on private property and not under its jurisdiction. However, Shabbir Ali argued that the government still has a duty to protect its citizens from such hazards.
Shabbir Ali criticized minister KTR for not visiting the victims’ families or the sites of these incidents, choosing instead to focus on inaugurating the new Secretariat. He pointed out the ‘recurring pattern of similar tragedies’ in Hyderabad over the years, with numerous citizens losing their lives due to open drains, house collapses, or electrocution. “Notable past incidents include the September 2016 heavy rains that claimed at least three lives, the August 2017 monsoon rains that led to at least two fatalities, and the October 2020 unprecedented rainfall resulting in an estimated death toll of at least 50,” Shabbir stated.
The former minister has written an open letter to Minister KTR calling for accountability and demanding that Minister KTR take responsibility for these incidents and hold concerned officials accountable. He has also demanded that the minister conduct a review meeting to address these infrastructure problems and prevent future tragedies.