Rakesh Kumar Vishnuprasad Gupta, 30, an autorickshaw driver, was severely injured on Saturday morning after a large coconut tree fell on his moving autorickshaw near Nanavati hospital on SV Road. Gupta, who is said to be in a critical condition, was admitted to Cooper hospital.
The incident took place at around 9am when Gupta was travelling from Santacruz to Andheri with two passengers, Siddharth S Baradia, 20, and Ronak Bhatia, 21. While the tree directly fell on Gupta's head, Baradia and Bhatia, suffered minor injuries and were taken to the nearby Nanavati hospital and discharged soon after.
"Since it was a coconut tree, no trimming could be carried out. We had removed the up parts of the tree as well as the hanging coconuts," said a civic official from the K-West ward.
The civic body claims to have trimmed and balanced the 15 coconut trees that stand tall on SV Road. "There are several other factors that could be behind its collapse such as the wind velocity at the time and weakening or decay of roots," said the official. He added that a decision on the compensation of the victim is yet to be taken.
Assistant commissioner, K-West ward, Ramesh Pawar, was unavailable for comment despite repeated attempts.