Veteran journalist Darryl D’Monte died in Mumbai on Saturday evening. He was 75 and had been treated for cancer a couple of years ago but was in remission.

His wife Zarine told The Times of India that he was well till Friday. “Just that evening, he was playing with his grandchild,” she was quoted as saying. “It came as a terrible shock.” He was taken to hospital but died hours later.

D’Monte’s career included stints as resident editor at The Indian Express and The Times of India in Mumbai. He was the chairperson of the Forum of Environmental Journalists of India and was the founder-president of the International Federation of Environmental Journalists in Dresden, Germany, in 1993.

In 1985, D’Monte wrote Temples or Tombs: Industry versus Environment, a pioneering book that showed how rapid economic development was taking a toll on the enviroment. In 2002, he wrote Ripping the Fabric: The Decline of Mumbai and its Mills, which looked at how liberalisation had hurt the city’s cotton textile workers and considered how the land on which shuttered factories had stood could be reused to benefit the commecial capital.

He had been at the heart of several civic projects in his home city. He had served as the President of the Bandra West Residents Association and in 2002 helped drive a citizens-led initiative to construct a promende by the Carter Road shore. The next year, he was among those who conceptualised Celebrate Bandra, a public cultural event that proved to be the model for other neighbourhood festivals around Mumbai. He was a Trustee of the Mumbai Waterfronts Centre, which in 2007 shared the first Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award of $100,000 for implementing a project in Mumbai which made a difference to citizens’ well being.

Several friends and colleagues paid their tributes to the journalist on Twitter.