Mumbai: Now, BMC wants golden glow back on Marine Drive

Civic body has suggested that the BEST replace the controversial white LED bulbs with sodium vapour lamps when the two-month trial period ends this month

While the controversy over the use of white or yellow streetlights at Marine Drive continues to simmer, mid-day has learnt that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has suggested that the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) re-install sodium vapour bulbs at Marine Drive.

Marine Drive, before the sodium vapour lights were replaced with white LED lights. File pic
Marine Drive, before the sodium vapour lights were replaced with white LED lights. File pic

Speaking to mid-day, Standing Committee Chairperson Yashodhar Phanse said, “I am here to take stock of the situation pertaining the installation of LED lights at Marine Drive. I have asked the BEST undertaking to consider the option of replacing the white lights after the trial period is over.

We aren’t against the LED lights, but if they are robbing Marine Drive of its charm, then it’s better to replace them with yellow bulbs.” Phanse added that he also asked the undertaking, BMC’s sister concern, to submit details on the total savingsmonetary and in power consumption to him.

While the civic body is responsible for erecting new streetlights, BEST maintains them. Phanse was part of the BEST Committee meeting that took place between the two agencies yesterday. “The two-month trial run for the LED streetlights at Marine Drive ends soon, and decision will be taken accordingly,” said Arvind Dudh-vadkar, chairperson, BEST Committee. The trial period ends this month.

At loggerheads
Both the agencies have been sparring over the issue that escalated after reports were published in the media about installation of white LED lights on JJ flyover as well. An altercation was reported between the BEST and BMC officials during the meeting. Both the agencies passed the buck onto each other.

While BEST authorities stated that anything related to the streetlights fell under BMC’s ambit, as it is the corporation that is funding these lights, Phanse retaliated saying that it was the undertaking that installed these lights and cannot wash their hands off so easily.

This issue erupted after BEST Committee member Yakub Memon accused the BMC of installing LED lights on the flyover. “Ever since their installation in 2008, we haven’t replaced a single bulb on the JJ flyover,” said R Deshpande, assistant general manager, BEST.

Led lights are brighter: CM
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had told the Assembly last week that the lux (illumination) level of the LED lights at Marine Drive was better that the conventional street lights that were replaced recently. “We have a report proving the lux level in this regard. The LED lights are much brighter. I have also checked the installation and illumination personally,” he said in his capacity as the head of the Urban Development Department.

Did you know?
>> A total of 506 streetlights are installed along Marine Drive
>> While 492 lamp posts are fitted with LED bulbs of 250 watts each, 14 have 400-watt bulbs
>> BEST undertaking has also reduced the height of lamp posts from 14.5 metres to 9 metres so that a larger area is illuminated

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