RAJAMAHENDRAVARAM: The Rajamahendravaram government hospital is crowded with families of victims of the recent boat capsize incident in River Godavari. While many have been waiting for the last 11 days to be handed over the bodies of their loved ones, there are others who still have not received any communication about their relatives.
M Rajendra Prasad, a retired engineer from Hyderabad, lost four persons from his family to the tragedy. His nephew Pawan Kumar (45), Pawan’s wife Vasundhara Bhavani (40), their son Susheel and niece Jyothi drowned in the September 15 incident. While Susheel and Jyothi were found and their bodies were handed over to the family after post-mortem, Pawan and Vasundhara are yet to be traced.
Speaking to TNIE on the hospital premises on Wednesday, he said: “There is nobody here to give us answers or take our worries into account. We were told that the authorities were unable to retrieve the bodies as they were stuck with the boat. I am waiting for the death certificate of my nephew and his wife, as the district collector has instructed revenue officials to issue death certificates of the missing. But the officials say that they have not received any such order.”
According to Rajendra Prasad, there was an insurance help-desk set up two days ago, which asked the relatives to furnish required documents so that they could claim the insurance amount of `10 lakh. But without the death certificate of the missing, it is not possible to claim the amount.
“We request the authorities to expedite formalities in issuing of certificates. The hospital officials informed us that they will conduct DNA tests to substantiate the claim of death of their relatives. But nothing was done till now,” he said.
Conducting DNA tests is proving a difficult task as only skeletal remains were left of the bodies.
Manikantha from Patha Pattiseema of West Godavari was one of the crew members, who died in the boat tragedy. He worked as a helper in the kitchen of Royal Vasishta. His father Narasimha Rao was asked to prepare for the DNA test on Tuesday. But till now, the test was not conducted, he said. Narasimha Rao has been visiting the hospital with his relatives for the last 11 days.
The hospital authorities explained that DNA tests were being conducted for several persons, and the process would be completed by Thursday.
Meanwhile, a poster was put up at the GGH by family members of those, who are yet to be traced. Written in Telugu, it reflected disappointment and said: ‘The government has no intention of retrieving the boat from River Godavari’.