Mumbai: A 45-year-old woman, Sharada Ghodeswar, was killed after a roadside Gulmohar tree at Chembur’s Chintamani Park fell on her head while she was sitting on a bench, waiting for a bus at the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) stop on Thursday morning.
According to an eye-witness, along with Ghodeswar, two others were also waiting at the bus stop; however, they had a lucky escape. Ghodeswar was immediately rushed to Shatabdi civic hospital in the vicinity, but she was declared dead by doctors. This is the second such incident of death due to tree-fall in Chembur. Earlier, Kanchan Nath, a 57-year-old Yoga teacher, died after a coconut tree fell on her five months ago.
According to Harshad Kale, Assistant Commissioner of Chembur, (M West ward), they had not received any complaint regarding the bad condition of the tree. “The tree was in a good condition above the roots; however, an inspection after the mishap suggests that the Gulmohar tree’s roots were infested with fungus due to excessive moisture, owing to its proximity to a well.
He added, “The tree was severed from its roots while the branches were intact. Also, the tree’s roots were not fully embedded in the soil.” Sanvi Tandel, Gardens and Markets Committee chairman and Shiv Sena corporator, said that Ghodeswar was her family’s only earning hand and is survived by three children. “Her husband is an alcoholic and does not work, so she used to do odd household jobs. We will ask the BMC administration to provide the family monetary help and free education to children,” added Tandel.
Ravi Raja, Leader of the Opposition, blamed the BMC and the ruling party Shiv Sena for the mishap. He said: “Though a similar incident had occurred earlier, the BMC and the ruling party had not learnt any lesson. So, I demand that a criminal case should be filed against the concerned department officer for negligence and Rs 5 lakhs should be given to the victim’s family as compensation.”
The Govandi police have registered an Accidental Death Report in this case. In the earlier case too, the Mumbai Police had declined to file an First Information Report (FIR) against BMC officials for negligence, after which Kanchan Nath’s husband Rajat Nath filed a criminal writ petition in the Bombay High Court, of which the hearing is yet to take place.