The Queen’s Necklace could soon be robbed of the golden glow that plays a big role in making it picturesque. As part of a citywide plan to reduce its electricity costs, the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) is looking at replacing the yellow sodium-vapour bulbs in streetlights on the semi-circular Marine Drive with white light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs by January 31.
As part of the tests, the sodium-vapour bulbs were replaced by LED ones on three light poles at Marine Drive yesterday. File pic
Following a meeting on the issue on Tuesday, the BEST is surveying and conducting tests before beginning work on the 506 streetlights 492 lamps of 250 watts each and 14 lamps of 400 watts each installed at Marine Drive. The sodium-vapour bulbs were replaced by LED ones on three poles yesterday, as part of the tests.
The undertaking is also looking at trimming the height of streetlight poles from the current 14.5 metres to 9 metres to cover a wider area and make optimum use of its lux level (the quantum of light emitted). “Initially, we have set a target of replacing and trimming at least 15 lamp posts in a day,” said a BEST official.
Officials said that depending on the success of the trimmed poles and LED bulbs, they may look at trimming and replacing the bulbs of all the 40,000-odd street lights across Mumbai. After Marine Drive, the initial trials will take place in Bandra in the Western suburbs and Mulund in the Eastern suburbs.
BEST’s current electricity cost for the streetlights works out to around R164 crore annually, which is expected to come down to R80 crore once the LEDs are fitted, because the units consumed are expected to fall from 6.37 lakh to 2.3 lakh a year.
“We will be able to save around 62 per cent of energy due to this,” said a BEST official. CM Devendra Fadnavis is expected to inaugurate the pilot project at Marine Drive on January 31.
Rs 164 cr
The BMC’s current annual electricity costs for the streetlights
Rs 80 cr
The expected annual cost after all streetlight poles are trimmed and fitted with LED bulbs