A former Doordarshan anchor and yoga instructor Kanchan Nath, returning home from work in Chembur, has become the third casualty of a tree collapse this year in the city.
Nath, 58, died on Saturday morning, two days after a coconut tree snapped from its trunk and fell on her as she walked down on Sant Venkaiah Marg.
The incident took place on Thursday, around 8 am, during a brief lull amid heavy rains. Kanchan had got off a bus and was making her way back to Prawasi housing society near Swastik Park after a yoga session. The upper portion of the coconut palm came crashing down in an instant.
She collapsed under its weight and was extricated by passers-by, who shifted her to nearby Sushrut Hospital where she died on Saturday.
Kanchan is survived by husband Rajat, 59, a daughter and a son. The former TV anchor and face of a ‘Pradeshik Sangeet’ show on the state-run broadcaster, was to celebrate her birthday on September 10; she had booked a new car for the occasion. Kanchan had also acted in TV serials.
The tree collapse was captured by the CCTV of a bar and has gone viral, evoking sharp reactions. Local residents blamed BMC. Apart from several injured in this season, this is the third fatality this year due to a tree collapse.
Civic officials say several crores have been spent in pruning trees this year following a pre-monsoon survey.
However, incidents of branches and trees falling have occurred throughout the month. The owner of the bungalow, in whose property the coconut tree stood, had approached BMC months ago and paid to have the 50-year-old tree cut. After an inspection, a civic team decided to trim it.
The death of Chembur resident Kanchan Nath, who became the third casualty of a tree collapse this year, has once again focused attention on the perils faced by pedestrians during Mumbai’s stormy monsoon.
Following Kanchan’s death, her husband said he held the BMC responsible for the incident. After the funeral, Rajat told TOI, “In February, the owner of the bungalow, Avinash Pol in whose compound the coconut tree stood had complained to the BMC that the tree may collapse. Officials from the tree department visited the place, inspected the tree and said it was fine and fit and hence there was no need for chopping it.”