Around 30 people gathered and stared at the affected houses, which were razed to the ground due to a minor landslide. They were distressed. They were not only facing the tragedy of a six-month-old baby dying for no fault of his, but also the plausibility of another fatality during another rainfall.
The surroundings of Singadikunta are juxtaposed against the upmarket Banjara Hills. The tall buildings on one side, and the slum with feeble temporary roof-tops that collapse like a house of cards on the other.
Yadulu, along with his six-month-old son, died on Monday after a wall collapsed on them. They were caught unawares when an unsuspected landslide flattened their fragile home and made a wall collapse. Both Yadulu and the baby were trapped under the wall and succumbed due to grievous injuries.
Singadikunta, an unpopular area behind Road No. 10, Banjara Hills, was unusually silent on Tuesday when the relatives of the Yadulu tried retrieving clothes and other undamaged goods from his house.
“Only clothes seem to be undamaged,” remarked Uppari Naresh, a neighbour of Yadulu.
Speaking to TNM, he said, “It was just a small baby. Poor baby. We usually hear their parents playing with the baby. It was a sad incident,” he sighed.
Much of Hyderabad is situated on hilly terrain, and the rain strikes fear in the hearts of many.
Describing the rainfall, he said, “Our hearts were filled with fear when each drop of rain fell on the roof. It feels like bullets are trying to pierce our roofs. Whenever it rains, we fear a landslide and brace ourselves. This incident has further increased our fear.”
The landslide was caused when a compound wall of a residential colony collapsed and the mud slid off, razing at least six houses.
S Kashi, another resident said, “I don’t know how the mother is able to digest the death of her husband as well as the child. She is like a relative to us. We share our grief and happiness with each other.”
Complaining about their vulnerability he said, “For 15-20 years, we have been residing in this colony. Each time it rains, we can’t explain the problems we face. Sometimes we fear that the open sewage might overflow and block the only narrow lane of the colony.”
Singadikunta has at least 200 illegal houses, haphazardly constructed. But even during incidents like these, they don’t blame anyone but their own luck. They don’t complain about the government because they feel that they are able to stay in these homes due to the mercy of the government.