Canals of various irrigation projects in Telangana though bring life to agriculture also turning out to be death traps in the past couple of years. At least 38 persons died in the incidents where vehicles plunged into these canals, mostly due to human error and negligence.
Nalgonda district alone accounts for 27 of 38 such deaths, with the worst accident occurring on June 24, 2018, in which 14 women agriculture labourers met with a watery grave when the tractor in which they were travelling skidded off a service road and plunged into the Musi canal at Valigonda in Yadadri-Bhongir district. The absence of fencing along the canal bank was also said to be a major cause for the accident.
This incident came as a shocker since the district was still recovering from the tragedy of a similar accident that occurred on April 7, 2018, which claimed the lives of nine women agriculture labourers when the driver of the tractor in which they were travelling lost control and plunged into the AMRP canal at Padamati Thanda in Nalgonda district.
The AMRP canal was again in the news on February 27 a year later when three members of a family died when their car fell into the canal at Dugyala of Pedda Adisherlapally Mandal in Nalgonda district. More recently, on January 10 this year, a youth drowned in the left canal of Nagarjuna Sagar Project when his motorcycle fell into the canal at Rayanipuram in Nalgonda district.
Not all such incidents of vehicles plunging into canals prove fatal. Providence was on the side of five persons, including three children, when a woman who was learning to drive a car guided by her brother-in-law drove the vehicle straight into the NSP canal at Laxmipuram in Mudigonda Mandal in Khammam on August 30 last. Local rescued all the five occupants in the car.
Other such incidents reported from across the State included the death of K Shashank (23) a B Tech holder and his brother-in-law Sai Sangeeth (21), a degree student, when their car fell into a canal at Devojiguda village in Dasturabad Mandal of Nirmal district on October 26, 2019.
On February 17 last year, Karimnagar police found a car in Kakatiya canal in Karimnagar and recovered three dead bodies from it. On February 16, 2020, a couple from Ganneruvaram Mandal – Pradeep and Keerthana – was washed away in Kakatiya canal when their two-wheeler fell into the canal. On January 25, 2020, another couple from Sultanabad, Macharla Srinivas and Swaroopa drowned in Kakatiya canal when the car they were travelling in plunged into the canal while Srinivas was reversing the vehicle.