The chaos on city roads during Thursday’s downpour brought tragedy to a 26-year-old housewife, who lost her new-born girl as she couldn’t reach the hospital on time.
A heavily pregnant Parveen Ismail Bilkiya, a resident of Khansaheb wadi in Mahim (west),was stuck in a traffic jam for more than two hours, owing to the mill workers’ protest in the morning. While police claim she delivered the infant in a taxi on the way to Bhabha hospital, her family claims she went back home because of the heavy traffic and delivered the child at home. By the time she reached the hospital, at noon, the baby was dead.
The Mahim police have registered a medico-legal case. They said Bilkiya was eight months pregnant. At around 10.30 am, Bilkiya’s sisters-in-law noticed she was bleeding heavily hailed a cab to get her to the hospital.
However, in an hour, the taxi had managed to move barely a 300-metres away from their residence. The sisters-in-law claimed they had to reverse the vehicle on the footpath to get back to their residence, after which Bilkiya delivered the baby. They then took the same taxi to the hospital.
“Our brothers approached the traffic police, who asked a police van to escort us to the hospital. When we reached under the Bandra bridge, the protestors tried to stop us. After the police told them about the situation, they let us go,” said Yasmeen.
“Owing to the traffic, they decided to reverse the vehicle and go to another hospital. The baby seemed to be protruding outwards, so Parveen’s sisters-in-law helped her deliver inside the cab,” said Ravindra Kalamkar, sub inspector, Mahim police station.
Parveen’s husban, Ismail, 36, an employee with the ferry wharf said, “We lost our first child. I don’t know whom to blame — the public or police. My mother passed away the same month last year. It would have been as though she had come back to us.”
Parveen, who is admitted at the hospital, has not come to terms with the tragedy. “She is in stable condition and will be discharged soon,” said Dr Vijaya Bhatt, medical superintendent, Bhabha Hospital.
The body of the child was taken to Sion hospital for postmortem. “It was an intrauterine death. The child died before it was born possibly because of the delay in the delivery,” said Dr Rajesh Dere, associate professor, forensic medicine, Sion Hospital.
Tree collapse kills 24-year-old Kandivli resident, injures friend
MUMBAI: A regular day at work turned catastrophic for Kandivli resident Ashwini Satpute, 24, and her friend. A 24-foot tree inside Lower Parel’s Marathon Next Gen Era Complex collapsed on Satpute, an accountant, crushing her on the spot, just as she was entering the complex. Her friend sustained minor injuries.
“Satpute had earphones on and was sharing an umbrella with her friend. The tree first fell on a temporary railing before falling on her,” said an eyewitness, adding Satpute’s friend survived as only branches fell on her.
“More than 40 locals, including construction labourers, helped rescue her, but it took them around 30 minutes to take her out from the tree remains. They rushed her to KEM Hospital,” said Prashant Gaikwad, the victim’s relative.
Doctors from KEM Hospital said: “She had sustained a massive head injury and was gasping for breath when brought to the hospital. She was declared dead around 12:45pm.”
Since 2010, HT has been running a sustained campaign on how outdated tree-pruning mechanisms and civic negligence has endangered the lives of citizens. In 2010, around 1,600 trees had collapsed and last year, four persons were killed and 13 were injured. The civic body then worked out a policy on the issue and overhauled the machinery used for maintaining trees.
Civic officials claimed they could not be held responsible for Thursday’s incident as the tree was located inside a private complex. “Maintaining the trees was the responsibility of the complex authorities,” said Suhas Karvande, deputy municipal commissioner (gardens).
Local Shiv Sena corporator Kishori Pednekar alleged that a letter had been sent to the complex authorities. “Two days ago, we sent a letter asking them to prune the tree at the earliest. However, they did not pay heed to our letter,” said Pednekar.
The representatives of Marathon Next Gen Era Complex management could not be reached for their comment. However, a supervisor, on condition of anonymity, said the local municipal office did not respond when they approached it for pruning the tree.
A case of accidental death has been registered at NM Joshi Marg police station. “We are investigating the matter,” said senior inspector Sudhakar Ghagre.
On Thursday, another tree fall incident was reported near Diamond Garden, Chembur. There were no casualties. A parked car was damaged.
CR services crippled, WR trains run late
MUMBAI: Less than 50mm of rain on Thursday threw Central Railway (CR) services out of gear for the entire day and disrupted Western Railway (WR) services for hours, inconveniencing lakhs of commuters.
The showers washed away all claims made by the Railways about monsoon preparedness. WR services ran around 20 minutes late during morning peak hours, but the situation improved by afternoon. However, CR services remained crippled till late in the evening and all services towards CST were running without scheduled timings.
Commuters complained that the trains took double the time to reach a station. For instance, the journey between Kalyan and CST takes not more than 1.15 hours, but on Thursday, several trains took three hours. “I got in from Ulhasnagar at 11.30am and reached CST around 2.30pm. I could have reached Pune in that time,” said R Jayashree, an Ulhasnagar resident.
“What has happened to all the money the Railways spent cleaning drains and on monsoon-related work?” said SR Banger, a resident of Thane, who got into a fast train at 9am from Thane and reached CST more than two hours later.
“There were signal failures at Kurla, Ghatkopar and Vikhroli on the main line and at Mankhurd, Chembur and Kurla on the harbour line. The drains next to the tracks between Ghatkopar and Kurla overflowed, leading to signal failure,” said a CR spokesperson. By 5pm, 148 services had been cancelled on CR.
There was no water-logging on the western line, but there was track failure at Malad and services were stopped for 30 minutes around 9am,” said Nitin David, public relations officer, WR.
“By 3.45pm, all signals on the harbour and main lines were functioning. But there was some bunching of trains,” said Vidhyadhar Malegaokar, chief PRO, CR.