Two officials of the municipal administration department have been suspended following the death of 40-year-old techie G Rajinikanth after falling into an open drain in Manikonda on Hyderabad outskirts, Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development KT Rama Rao said on Friday, October 1. Speaking in the Telangana Legislative Council, KTR said that the incident had happened due to the municipal administration department’s negligence and that the department accepts responsibility for the unfortunate incident. Meanwhile, a search is still on for the body of another man, 54-year-old Mohan Reddy, who fell into an open drain that was not barricaded properly in the Quthbullapur locality of Hyderabad.
Rajinikanth’s family had written to CLP (Congress Legislature Party) leader Bhatti Vikramarka requesting Congress to raise the issue in the ongoing Assembly session, stating government negligence had caused his death. Rajinikanth’s mother wrote that the government had announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for her son, questioning if that was the value of his life, and mentioning that his wife and two kids have been left with no support. Speaking on the incident, KTR said that it was very unfortunate and upsetting. “The Manikonda municipality, adjacent to the GHMC (Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation), is growing rapidly. In the heavy rains, perhaps he (Rajinikanth) didn’t notice (the open drain). The barricade wasn’t erected properly, which is negligence on our department’s part. We take responsibility for it,” he said, adding that the government will ensure the compensation is raised to Rs 10 lakh.
“The Assistant Executive Engineer and Deputy Executive Engineer have been suspended, and a departmental inquiry has been ordered to understand the reasons. Even though safety audits have been done, in some places, extensive works are being done at a rapid pace. In some places, there could be negligence from contractors or ground-level staff. We will take all measures to not let such incidents repeat,” KTR said. According to reports, a contractor has also been booked in relation to the incident, for negligence in installing proper cautionary signs.
Rajinikanth fell into an open drain that was under construction while crossing a road in Manikonda on the night of September 25. His body was found on September 27 afternoon in Neknampur lake, 2 km from Manikonda, following an extensive search operation. Mohan Reddy also fell into an open drain in Qutbullapur on September 25, when he went there to urinate while reportedly under the influence of alcohol. An extensive search operation comprising Disaster Response Force (DRF) personnel and police personnel was launched, but his body is yet to be retrieved as of October 1 afternoon.