A 36-year-old widow and mother of a two-year-old is lying in hospital, on a ventilator, after an unpruned branch from a tree on a public road in Kalina crashed onto her on Monday, as she was returning home from work.
Doctors say Anne Fernandes’s spine and thorax have been crushed and two of her ribs fractured. The fractured ribs have also injured her lungs. Doctors fear she may be partially paralysed.
“She’s in terrible agony,” said her shaken brother Anthony (41), who works at a local church. “She was crushed and trapped under the heavy branch and had to be rescued by locals.”
Fernandes, who lost her husband to a heart attack three months ago, is the 11th Mumbaiite to be injured — two others have been killed — by upruned branches in the last four months.
A sustained Hindustan Times series pushed the municipal corporation to announce a revamp of its outdated tree-pruning techniques and institute a compensation policy for victims.
Informed about the latest incident, Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Gardens) Chandrashekhar Rokade admitted that the municipal corporation has made no changes in its tree-pruning methods.
“It will take time to evolve a more scientific process,” he said.
Meanwhile, Fernandes, an HR executive, is eligible for a maximum of Rs 50,000 in compensation from the BMC, a sum that will cover just a fraction of her bill for surgery and ongoing treatment at Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Andheri (West).
The BMC compensation policy only foots the bill for treatment at government-run hospitals. Her doctors were unavailable for comment.