BEST resorts back to sodium vapour lamps to light up Mumbai

Over the next 3 months, BEST will buy 1,350 new sodium vapour lamps for Mumbai roads

In January this year, the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) robbed Marine Drive of its iconic golden Queen's Necklace, replacing the sodium vapour streetlights with white LEDs. However, this move faced a lot of political backlash and BEST managed to find regular sodium vapour lamps in its spares inventory and went back to the old arrangement.

The move to replace sodium vapour lamps on Marine Drive with LED lights faced a lot of political backlash, and BEST eventually went back to the regular golden lamps. File pic
The move to replace sodium vapour lamps on Marine Drive with LED lights faced a lot of political backlash, and BEST eventually went back to the regular golden lamps. File pic

Now, the BEST Undertaking will soon be procuring two different kinds of sodium vapour streetlamps — of 250 watts and 70 watts capacity — to illuminate roads, flyovers and bylanes. Sources said the 1,350 pieces that BEST will procure are not LED lamps.

"These are being purchased on a short-term basis and so small numbers are being procured," said a BEST official on condition of anonymity.

Sources said that in January this year, the Energy department had initiated a pilot project of LED street lighting in Mumbai, which started at Marine Drive.

The yellow coloured streetlights were replaced with white LED ones at this iconic location, which were said to have more lighting power and better illumination.

As per plans, the BEST was to convert all street lighting from sodium vapour lamps to LED by September.

However, LED lamps met with harsh criticism from various political circles. The process of replacement to the older sodium vapour lamps began.

Sources in the BEST said that the Undertaking is currently buying these sodium lamps in small quantities, and for a period of three months, so that it can go back to LED lamps in case there is a demand for the same from politicos.

506
No of streetlights installed along Marine Drive

9 metres
New height of lamp posts. The BEST has planned to reduce the height from the existing 14.5 to ensure that a larger area is illuminated

1,350
No of streetlamps the BEST will procure in a three-month period

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