The bus accident that claimed 57 lives in Telangana’s Jagtial district on Tuesday has left many devastated. One of them is Suresh, a young man from an obscure Telangana hamlet. He could have been experiencing the joys of fatherhood by now. Instead, the mishap has shattered his dreams.
His wife Yendrikayala Sumalatha, who was pregnant with twins and was about to deliver on Wednesday, was killed in the accident.
The couple had made big plans and was preparing to welcome their twin babies. Sumalatha’s delivery was scheduled for Wednesday and she, along with her mother, Bhoolacchavva, and her mother-in-law, Yenkavva, boarded a bus to Kondagattu. From there, the trio was to catch another bus to Karimnagar where Sumalatha was to be hospitalised, a day before delivery.
However, they could not make it to the hospital. The ill-fated bus in which they were travelling in met with the tragic accident at Kondagattu Ghat Road on its way back from the Anjaneya Swamy temple on the top of Kondagattu Hills, 190 km from Hyderabad.
The three women, all fatally injured, rushed to a hospital. But it was all futile as the trio succumbed to their injuries.
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“We were all delighted about the twins, but we didn’t expect this,” says Lakshman, Sumalatha’s brother in law. "Who would have thought that such an incident would happen, whom can we blame for it?” added another relative.
Locals reveal that state-run RTC buses are the only mode of transport for them and they always run overloaded.
“Except for the RTC bus, no other vehicle comes here. Not even autos,” says Tirupati, a student from the village. “The students would hang on the footboard of the bus and travel to colleges,” he says.
He feels the death toll would have been less had more buses been run to the villages.
“The youngsters led by the Sarpanch, have already taken the issue to the depot manager. However, they didn’t pay any heed to our appeal,” laments Tirupati. He feels political patronage for increasing the number of buses plying to the rural areas is lacking.