A techie fell into a stormwater drain and was washed away after the downpour on Saturday night in Manikonda municipality, the latest victim of lack of safety measures at work sites. (DC photo)
Hyderabad: A techie fell into a stormwater drain and was washed away after the downpour on Saturday night in Manikonda municipality, the latest victim of lack of safety measures at work sites. A massive search and rescue operation has been launched for him.
The victim was identified as G. Rajinikanth, 40. The incident occurred at the stormwater drain work site between Golden Temple and Tulip Gardens at Manikonda, at 9.14 pm. There was no barricade at the spot nor a signboard to alert people of the ongoing work.
Rajinikanth is survived by his wife and two school-going children.
According to officials, Rajinikanth owns a flat in the area. He had stepped out briefly when the accident occurred. It is believed that he was washed away into the open nala leading to Pandenavaagu, eventually leading to the Ibrahim lake and then to the Musi river.
About 60 teams including from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), GHMC Disaster Response Force (DRF), District Task Force (DTF), police and Manikonda staff equipped with boats and machinery tried to search for Rajinikanth till 7 pm on Sunday but were unable to find him. Some rescue teams entered the flowing water with ropes tied at their waist. The rescue will resume at 6 am on Monday.
The authorities for the last two months were building the one-metre diameter stormwater drain over a 150-metre stretch at a cost of Rs 50 lakh. Sources said the contractor had extended the pipeline from 100 metres to 150 metres, taking it through various streets in the vicinity.
Assistant engineer Victobha, who had been surrendered to his parent department two months ago, was monitoring the work on Sunday. The civic authorities did not book a case against the contractor despite Rajendranagar revenue divisional officer (RDO) K. Chandrakala directing them to do so. Officials said they were busy in the rescue operation.
Deccan Chronicle found on Sunday that the contractor had built four turns into the stormwater drain, leading towards Golden Temple. Previously, the authorities had laid a 100-metre pipeline in the same area at an estimated cost of Rs 43 lakh.
The contractor, allegedly hand in glove with officials, had extended the pipeline work to 150 metres length. Non-payment of bills had delayed the work for three months; work was again suspended for about 14 days due to Ganesha festivities.
A senior Manikonda municipality official requesting anonymity told Deccan Chronicle that it was an unfortunate incident despite authorities setting up barricades and warning boards. But no barricade or board was seen at the site. Asked about it, he said that they had been washed away due to the rains.
Asked about the delay in booking a case on the contractor, the official said that he was busy in rescue operations and will lodge a complaint on Monday. The official refused to comment on the pipeline extension, and the work being monitored by an assistant engineer whose services had been surrendered two months ago.