Mumbai: Mahim mosque set up solar power panels on the roof
Jame Masjid trustees hope to cut electricity bills by half with their newly set up solar power panels on the roof
The sun shines down benevolently on the iconic Mahim Jame Masjid, which recently joined a handful of city mosques that have converted to solar energy. Jame Masjid (which fits 8,000 people) racks up electricity bills of Rs 45,000 to Rs 60,000 every month, and twice as much during Ramzan. But the next bill will be half the amount, hope the trustees, who inaugurated a 15 KiloWatt (KW) solar power generation system on November 21.
The main prayer hall on the ground floor is fully air-conditioned. Thanks to the solar panels, Mumbai's generous sunlight will end up cooling the mosque at half the cost. Fahad Khalil Pathan, managing trustee of one of the oldest Shafai (Sunni sect) masjids in the city, said the project was conceived three years ago.
"We hope to reduce it [power bill] by at least 40 to 50 per cent. We spent Rs 15 lakh, out of which Rs 4.5 lakh was spent on strengthening the structure to bear the load [of the panels]. The panels were installed on the roof of the older part of the building."
Pathan credits the chief Imam of the masjid, Mohamed Saad Pathan Al-Azhari, for motivating people to donate for the project after the Friday prayers. Habib Fakih, another trustee, said, "We need to cut all the talk about mandirs or masjids simmering in this current climate, and discuss solar power there and elsewhere too."
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