In a tragic incident in Vasai, a century-old banyan tree was uprooted by strong winds and heavy rain, causing significant damage. The tree fell on the home of an elderly couple, both of whom are physically challenged. The incident, which occurred around 8 pm in the Papdi area of Vasai West, also damaged an SUV parked nearby and several electricity poles and wires.

This is the second time in recent weeks that a large tree has been uprooted in the Vasai-Virar area due to adverse weather conditions. Local fire brigade officials arrived at the scene shortly after the incident to assess the damage and clear the road.

Deepa Maru, the daughter of the elderly couple, spoke about the frightening experience. “My parents escaped just in time and are thankfully unhurt,” she said. “My father, Haresh Mosekar, is 78 years old and bedridden due to elephantiasis. My mother, Harshala, is 60 and visually impaired. Because they need support for their daily tasks, my sister and her family live with them.”

Video Courtesy: Diwakar Sharma

The damage to the home was extensive. “My nephews’ and nieces’ books, the gas stove, and grains were all destroyed when the tree fell on our home. We don’t have the money to repair the asbestos sheet of the roof,” Maru lamented.

Local resident Nilesh Karale confirmed the extent of the damage. “The couple’s home is in tatters. The three daughters have been doing their best to help their elderly parents,” he said.

There has been criticism directed at the Vasai Virar Municipal Corporation (VVMC) for not identifying potentially dangerous trees before the onset of the monsoon season. When contacted, many officials were either unavailable or unaware of whether such surveys had been conducted.

VVMC Deputy Commissioner Subodh Thanekar admitted he did not know if a survey had been conducted. “The tree department handles that, and I will get the information,” he said. So far, there has been no response from VVMC Commissioner Anil Pawar on the matter.

In the meantime, the affected family and other residents are left dealing with the aftermath of the incident, highlighting the need for better preventive measures to avoid such incidents in the future.