Hyderabad rain tragedy: Workers treated like animals, kin demand ₹20 lakh compensation

The relatives said neither the builder nor politicians met them after the tragic wall collapse.

ByDeepika Pasham

Published May 09, 2024 | 10:37 AM Updated May 09, 2024 | 10:38 AM

Department Forensic Medicine, Toxicology and Autopsy Complex

The relatives and friends of migrant labourers, who died after a perimeter wall of an under-construction apartment complex collapsed on them, are in a quandary with no one to help them.

The wall collapsed in heavy rain at Bachupally on Tuesday, 7 May, evening, killing seven workers, including three of a family — Tirupati, and Shankar both aged 20, Raju (25), his wife Khushi, Ram Yadav, his wife Geetha Yadav and their son Himanshu (4).

Most of the deceased hailed from Odisha.

Related: 7 migrant workers killed in Hyderabad wall collapse

Picture of grief, anger

Ram and Geetha’s relative Udal Yadav was waiting outside the Department of Forensic Medicine, Toxicology and Autopsy Complex of Gandhi Hospital, along with others.

“It was raining heavily when the wall collapsed on our huts around 6:30 pm.  There are 40 to 50 construction workers from Odisha, Chhattisgarh, and Bengal. We have been camping at the construction site for the past three months,” he told South First.

Grief, disappointment and anger were evident in his words. “We are treated as animals or beggars. It has been more than 24 hours and no builder who employed us, nor political leaders have come forward to help us,” he said.

Udal said they were paid ₹800 per day. “We migrated here seeking livelihood. We don’t have the money to treat the injured nor to carry the bodies home,” he looked exasperated.

Related: Two more bodies found in drain, death toll in Hyderabad rain touches 9

Demand for compensation

Tirupati’s brother Basanth Naik, too, was angry with the builder. “My brother came three months ago and he died due to the negligence of their employer. We have been contacting the contractor but he is not responding to our calls. How can he stay away when his labourers have died in a mishap,” he asked.

“The contractor informed us yesterday of the death of my brother. If one goes to the site, they will know the neglect in which the labourers are living,” he added.

The bereaved relatives demanded a compensation of ₹20 lakh per deceased. The Bachupally police read out a letter from the Twin Cities Contractors Association, saying it would pay ₹11.5 lakh to the kin of each deceased person.

The association with more than 2,000 builders as its members was part of constructing the apartment where the accident occurred. It said it would pay ₹50,000 each immediately, and the remaining ₹11 lakh to the dependents later on producing identity proof.

Meanwhile, the families said ambulance operators were demanding ₹50,000 each for taking the bodies home. The Bachupally police had arranged the ambulances.

(Edited by Majnu Babu).