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Tree fall death in Mumbai: Family wants BEST, BMC to be booked

The police are looking for eye-witnesses in the case and have collected photographs and videos shot by onlookers

mumbai Updated: Dec 08, 2017 10:28 IST
Pratik Salunke
Pratik Salunke
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,tree fall,tree fall death
Sharda Ghodeswar’s husband Sahdev.(HT)

The family of Sharda Ghodeswar, 45, who died after a tree fell on her in Chembur, want the authorities responsible for the incident to be booked for causing death due to negligence.

In an application submitted to the Govandi police station, Sharda’s husband Sahdev and son Sumeet alleged negligence by authorities. Referring to the death of former Doordarshan anchor Kanchan Nath in a similar incident in July, their application states: “Before this, a tree collapsed in Swastik Park [the same locality] due to which a woman died. If the authorities would have taken cognisance then, today’s incident wouldn’t have occurred.”

In the application, a copy of which is with HT, the family blamed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and transport body BEST. “The incident took place owing to the irresponsible and negligent attitude of the civic body and BEST. BEST administration prunes trees which come in way of the path of its buses. However, they ignored the location where the incident occurred.”

The Govandi police have registered an accidental death case. “We are looking for experts who can give an opinion on the strength of the tree,” said a police officer.

READ: Tree fall death: Activists say concretisation, reckless pruning by BMC killing Mumbai’s trees

The police are looking for eye-witnesses in the case and have collected photographs and videos shot by onlookers. “A police van took her to a nearby hospital where she was declared dead,” said the officer.

Following the death, the administration started to prune trees near Diamond Garden. “The road between diamond garden and Sainik garden has trees in a line,” said the officer.

‘I have lost my biggest support’

Waiting outside the morgue of a government hospital on Thursday, Sahdev Ghodeswar, the husband of Sharda who died after a tree fell on her, and his two sons were fighting back tears.

Sahdev said Sharda worked as a house help to financially support the family.

“I am a painter. My earning depends upon the work I get. Sometimes I am without work for days. Sharda started to work to support us,” said Sahdev. “She has left behind two sons and a daughter.”

Their teenaged children -- Sumit, Sushant and Swapnali -- were unable to control their emotions.

“I spoke to her on the phone minutes before the accident. She hung up in the middle as she was getting another call from a relative. Who knew it was my last conversation with her,” said Sahdev

First Published: Dec 07, 2017 21:01 IST