Mumbai: A 91-year-old woman died after the branch of an Asoka tree fell on her while she was having an evening stroll, near Banganga Tank, Walkeshwar, on Monday. Leela Gokuldas Sukhi, who suffered multiple injuries, was rushed to St Elizabeth’s Hospital on Malabar Hill initially, and later transferred to GT Hospital, where she died on Tuesday morning.
Malabar Hill police station officers said that they have registered a case of accidental death and are investigating whether the accident was a result of negligence. “We will find out whether the tree needed trimming,” said the official. The BMC, which is responsible for trimming and pruning trees in public spaces across the city, said the tree was located inside the premises of Kavale Math, a cultural organisation.
Around 7pm on Monday, Sukhi was walking past the Math and was right under the tree when the branch fell from a height of 20 to 22 feet, officials said. A resident of Banganga, she lived with her brother and sister in Chhatri Niwas building. “The tree had thick foliage and the branch that fell was spread over the lane next to the property. It could have been trimmed, but we have not got any application for permission to trim the tree from the organisation,” said an official from the BMC’s garden department. The official added that BMC had written to the Math asking it to trim 10-12 trees on its premises in November 2017, but the Math had not done anything, and no action was taken against it.