Ten daily-wage MGNREGA workers who were hired for digging work in Thileru village in Telangana’s Marikal mandal were killed after a minor landslide trapped them at the worksite. The incident took place around 11 am on Wednesday.
The 10 workers — all of whom hailed from the same village — were employed under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. Another worker was critically injured and is being treated at a local hospital. According to police, the workers were hired to undertake some manual work in the village. They were resting at the base of the worksite when a large mound of mud collapsed on them.
Police and emergency medical services have reached the spot and rescue operations are currently underway. While 10 deaths have been reported as of now, officials say the death toll is expected to rise.
Visuals from the tragedy show several workers running away from site of the tragedy, while some cried out to those who had been trapped under the rubble. Photos of the deceased show that they did not appear to be wearing safety gear.
The workers were employed under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA 2005), which was later renamed Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and aims to provide at least 100 days of paid labour. Any member of a household can volunteer to do manual labour as part of it.
In March, workers employed under NREGA demanded a hike in minimum wages to comply with the Minimum Wages Act. Manual workers who are employed under the scheme have been reported to make as little as Rs 179 a day.
This is a developing story
(With inputs from Charan Teja)