Powai woke up to the danger lurking just below the tranquil surface of its lake on Thursday morning when a crocodile attacked and killed a morning walker. This is the second croc attack in the area since June this year.

Vijay Bhure, 32, a resident of Tirandaz village, was dragged into the lake at about 6.30 am, eye witnesses said. The incident has sent waves of panic among those who frequent the lake. The area, often crowded, wore a deserted look all of Thursday.

On June 1, Shankar Pawar, a 28 year old resident of Powai narrowly escaped death when he was attacked by a crocodile while fishing.

On Thursday, Bhure, an employee with the mechanical department of a local construction company, was walking near the IIT guest house area.

Some locals from Tirandaz gaonthan, where Bhure lived with his mother, wife and two children, say that the crocodile grabbed him by his right leg and dragged him into the water.

However, these details were unclear and unconfirmed as police say he was fishing with an inflated tube as an aid.

“He left home for his walk as he usually does. At around 7 am, other walkers told us that a crocodile had killed him,” said Vijaya Bhure, the victim’s wife.

The Fire Department recovered Bhure’s body at about 9.45 am. It appeared that the crocodile had grabbed him by the legs.

Forest officials said that a crocodile would not attack a human being unless a person was very close to the water body.

S A Thorat, chief conservator of forest, said, “It is unlikely that Bhure was standing far from the water,” and added, “To avoid such incidents people should not be allowed to go too near the water. We have been telling BMC to prohibit people from fishing or venturing into the lake.”

Ecology experts said massive construction activity in the area had cost the crocodiles their resting and breeding sites and they were forced to venture to other areas.

The Maharashtra State Angling Association (MSAA) identified two such locations and requested the BMC to lay sand and create mud banks around them.

Not too long ago MSAA had requested that three sites used by crocodiles for basking and laying eggs be cordoned off.

Dinesh Gondalia, deputy commissioner (Water Works Projects), BMC said that with increase in such incidents, they would seek guidance from experts to find out ways to avoid any further attacks. The lake premises where the incidents have been occurring is owned by BMC.

News Source: Mumbai mirror