Mumbai: Youth returning from meeting friend, crushed under tree in Vasai
Rahul Sawant, a marketing executive in a private firm, was returning on his two-wheeler after meeting his friend in Nalasopara on February 25 when the branch landed on his head
A 28-year-old youth, Rahul Sawant, lost his life to what locals said was the indifference of Vasai-Virar City Municipal Corporation (VVCMC) to their complaints, regarding dangerous, dead trees. Sawant succumbed to the injuries he received a week earlier when a dead tree fell on him near Vasant Nagri township of Vasai East. Sawant, a marketing executive in a private firm, was returning on his two-wheeler after meeting his friend in Nalasopara on February 25 when the branch landed on his head.
Locals rushed Sawant to a hospital in Thane where the doctors referred him to RN Cooper Hospital in Andheri for further treatment. He died at the hospital on Tuesday morning. Sawant's sister Rajshree Salvi told mid-day that Sawant was the support of their ageing parents.
"My brother had recently got a job and was the only earning member at home. He succumbed to serious head injuries at Cooper hospital. Several social workers and local residents had complained about the condition of dead trees, but the VVCMC did not pay heed to them. My brother would be alive today had the authorities listened to their demands," Salvi said.
The president of Vasant Nagri Complex Co-op Housing Society, Joseph Varghese said he had written to the VVCMC commissioner after a news anchor died in Chembur some years back, when a tree fell on her.
"I had alerted the VVCMC commissioner about the dead trees being detrimental to local residents as well as passersby. But no action was taken. I called and sent messages to the VVCMC commissioner and several other officials of the concerned departments. I also said if any accident occurs, the corporation, especially the municipal commissioner, would be responsible for it. Now such an incident has happened and a youth lost his life. The commissioner and the VVCMC are responsible. We have decided to complain to the police against the corporation after a meeting with residents," said Joseph. All the trees in the locality are 20 to 25 years old, and due to concrete around their roots, they are not so strong, he added.
B G Pawar, who has recently taken over as VVCMC commissioner said, "The incident came to my knowledge yesterday. I am not aware about the past complaint, but definitely I will take action and act as per the corporation rules." Asked if the VVCMC will provide compensation to the deceased's family, Pawar said, "We will extend all possible help to the family as per the provisions."
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