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Pune’s civic body faces flak for tree branch falling accident claiming one life

Garden department blames ongoing civic works for damaging the roads and weakening trees in the city

pune Updated: Jul 12, 2019 16:24 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
A free fell on Pashan road on Wednesday, causing inconvenience to commuters.(Milind Saurkar/HT Photo)

Elected members have blamed the civic administration for the increasing accidents in the city due to tree falling incidents. However, the garden department blamed civic works for increasing tree falling incidents in the city.

The general body of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) discussed the tree falling issue on Thursday after a woman died after a tree branch fell on her head, killing her on the spot, at Ghole road, on Wednesday afternoon.

Jayashree Jagtap, 48, a resident of Kothrud died on the spot when a tree branch fell on her head. According to the police, the victim was having tea with her friends when the incident took place.

The corporators alleged that the women lost her life due to PMC negligence. They said that the tree authority department is not taking care of trees that pose threat to pedestrians. Nationalist Congress Party member Nanda Lonkar and Gaffor Khan raised the issue and attacked the tree authority department.

Mayor Mukta Tilak instructed the administration to probe whether the Ghole road incident happened due to negligence. She also directed the administration to provide insurance benefit to the kin of Jagtap.

Before the rains, the civic body is supposed to trim trees and branches as part of its pre-monsoon work to prevent such accidents.

Meanwhile, a garden department official on condition of anonymity said that PMC is digging the roads and footpaths as part of various development works, including cement concrete roads and laying water pipelines.

“These works are damaging the roads and roots of trees. The roots get exposed and are prone to getting uprooted. Too much of use of concrete around trees has further worsened the situation making the trees more vulnerable and weakening its strength,” the official said.

Water released from Khadakwasla dam owing to heavy rainfall in catchment areas

Owing to heavy rains in catchment areas, the irrigation department on Wednesday discharged 4,280 cusecs of water from Khadakwasla dam till 6pm as its stock level was completely filled.

PB Shelar, executive engineer of Khadakwasla division of Irrigation department said, “The water stock of Khadakwasla dam touched above 95% because of heavy rainfall in catchment areas. We have therefore released water from the dam. Residents are advised to be careful while going near the riverbed and should avoid driving near these areas.”

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has appealed to citizens to avoid parking on the river side of Mutha. The civic body on previous occasions has closed the bridge over Mutha river connecting Jungli Maharaj road and peth areas.

The irrigation department on Wednesday discharged 4,280 cusecs of water from Khadakwasla dam till 6pm. ( HT PHOTO )

Meanwhile, although the water has been discharged from the dam, the metro work remains unaffected so far.

A Maha-Metro spokesperson said, “We have not yet received any intimation from the Khadawasla dam authorities informing us to stop work.”

PMC has urged residents to not go near Mutha river for the next few days.

Light showers in city in the next four days

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast less rainfall over the next 3 to 4 days. “Pune’s rainfall has reduced and over the next 3 to 4 days, the city will witness very light to light rain measuring 2.5mm to 15.5mm rain, though the ghat section will witness moderate spell with some isolated areas having heavy spell,” said Anupam Kashyapi, head, of weather department, IMD.

The temperature will be between 29-30 degrees Celsius for maximum and 23-24 degrees Celsius as minimum.

First Published: Jul 12, 2019 16:23 IST