Mumbai: Garware Club members cower under falling coconuts

Updated: Apr 16, 2019, 19:33 IST | Sanjeev Shivadekar | Mumbai

Garware Club House writes to BMC about Marine Drive trees for fear of fruit injuring people, denting cars

BMC confirmed receiving the letter from Garware Club House, but made no mention of their plans to act on it. File pic
BMC confirmed receiving the letter from Garware Club House, but made no mention of their plans to act on it. File pic

A looming threat of falling coconuts has led the Garware Club House to write to the BMC. In the letter, the club has asked the civic body to maintain coconut trees in the Marine Drive area as their falling fruits pose a risk to people and vehicles. This move comes after the club's vice president and Colaba BJP MLA Raj Purohit had a close shave last year after a coconut missed him and fell on his car.

Purohit said the move has been initiated in public interest and not for any individual or institute. "There have been several cases of coconuts falling and damaging vehicles parked in the area. Since the BMC is the authority for taking appropriate action in the issue, the club has written to it asking to fix the problem," he said.

Also Read: Tree fall, potholes, collapses in Mumbai: Earlier victims still await justice

BMC officials from the A ward confirmed the development. "We have received a letter from the Garware Club House, which mentions the threat from the coconut trees in the vicinity," said a civic official. However, the official did not reveal the BMC's plan to act on the letter.

Explaining why it is important to maintain the trees, Purohit recounted a close shave he had last year. "I was not even a minute away from my car and a coconut fell on my vehicle. Had it fallen on me, the accident could have been fatal. Luckily, the damage was limited to my car," he said.

Lawyer and Marine Drive resident Rahul Hakani said, "I always feel pedestrians and our cars parked out on the road are at risk [from the trees]. The authorities should eliminate the risk, but while doing so, they should ensure that the trees are protected."

Also Read: Mumbai: Rs 1.5 crore coconut shell factory put on hold

Hakani added this can be done by putting up nets and through a timely removal of coconuts when they are ripe. Prior to this letter, BMC had proposed to spend R116 crore on trimming and removing dead trees over the next three years.

Kanchan Rajat Nath
Kanchan Rajat Nath

'Need to take precaution'

In 2017, it was an ill-maintained coconut tree that led to the death of yoga teacher and former Doordarshan anchor Kanchan Rajat Nath. She was out on a morning walk when the tree came crashing down on her. Following her death, her husband Rajat blamed civic authorities for poor maintenance of trees. Speaking about how their maintenance could help, he said, "If well maintained, a coconut tree has a life of 50 to 52 years. It starts to become hollow because of age, climatic conditions or after being eaten by ants from the inside. One may not be able to notice the same with the naked eye. Hence, there is a need to take precautions like creating support for the tree to withstand gusty winds or cyclones or installing nets to prevent coconuts from falling on citizens or vehicles."

Also Read: Mumbai: Activist says BMC root cause of danger to 34 trees at Kandivli

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