July 24th, 2017
Kanchan Nath (58), an ex-Doordarshan anchor and now a Yoga instructor was taking her usual morning walk on 20 July, when a coconut palm fell on her and crushed her to death, as has been reported. She succumbed to her injuries on 22 July.
The incident was captured on a CCTV camera which showed Nath collapsing after the coconut tree fell on her. People nearby pulled her from under the tree.
The husband, Rajat Nath, is now planning to sue the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on the charges of ‘criminal negligence’. However, the police did not register his FIR. Speaking to The Logical Indian, Chembur police claimed that investigation is underway to find out if the BMC was at fault.
Nearby residents had complained to the BMC on 17 February that the tree’s branches were falling onto the road, posing a hazard to pedestrians and motorists. Speaking to News18, Mr Nath said, “We (the society people) had complained to the BMC about the tree. They assured us on Friday that they were coming in an hour and then stopped picking our calls. The BMC had certified that the tree was healthy.”
Along with the complaint that was filed by Avinash Pol; the residents had also deposited an amount of Rs 1380 to fell the tree.
Asha Marathe, the local councillor, has written to the BMC demanding action and has accused the BMC officials of negligence. Speaking to Hindustan Times, she said, “Following the incident on Thursday, I raised the issue of dangerous and dead trees in the area with the ward officer. Lots of money is spent on pruning of the trees, but there is no accountability. I will raise the issue again in the general body meeting.”
This incident comes just at the time when BMC is under fire for shooting off a notice to radio jockey Malishka Mendonsa after her parody video mocking the Shiv Sena-led civic body for the city’s worsening road conditions, especially in the monsoons. The corporation is evidently not keen on serving the people by paying heed to their long-filed complaints but is super fast in reacting to parodies made against them.
The Logical Indian Take
We deeply condemn the episode where the negligence of a civic body has resulted in the death of an innocent. It is important for municipal corporations to sit up and take their jobs seriously – it is important for them to understand that common man depends on the service they provide and any negligence on their part might even result in the death of innocent lives, like in this case. Although this might seem as a one-off incident, it is through such occurrences that we need to realise the havoc that can stem from a minor negligence. It is only through awareness among both the citizens and the concerned public authorities that such mishaps can be avoided and innocent lives are saved. If steps are not taken then it would not be too long when a similar incident takes place in our own surroundings.