Monday’s wall collapse in which six persons died and two children were injured could have been less fatal if only Nencharla Venkataiah, one of the deceased, went back to his village for a few days, as planned, to cast his vote in the panchayat elections slated for July 27.
Venkataiah, hailing from Malreddypally in Yalal mandal in Ranga Reddy district, had told one of his friends that he would go back to his village on Monday.“He thought he had better wait till the rains receded,” said Bhim Raj, the deceased’s neighbour in the Housing Board Colony.
“I am also from the same village as Venkataiah. We had come to Hyderabad about 13 years ago to find work. I returned from our village three days ago, informed him about the panchayat polls and asked him to go and vote if he wished. He decided to leave two days ago but postponed his visit to Monday due to the rains,” Bhim Raj said.
Another friend, Prakash Seervi, said he had met Venkataiah on Monday. “He too told me the same thing. He worked at a cement shop as a labourer and his wife as a maid near their house,” Prakash said.
Poonam Chand, owner of the cement shop which used to hire Venkataiah for works, recalled: “I met him a few days ago and due to the heavy rain he didn’t have much work. He would work whenever there was need for loading and unloading. Often, he would work for me too,” Chand said.
Venkataiah’s brother-in-law, whose entire family perished in the wall collapse, was from Putalabad in Mahbubnagar district.