After opposing the installation of light-emitting diode (LED) lights at Marine Drive last year, Shiv Sena — the ruling party in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) — approved the proposal to install 4,400 LED lights at major city roads on Friday.
Some of these roads include the Shahid Bhagat Singh Road and DN Road in Fort, JJ Flyover; Babasaheb Ambedkar Road, Byculla; Clare Road from Byculla to Sion; Walkeshwar Road; Nepean Sea Road; Peddar Road; Lala Lajpatrai Road and Annie Besant Road in Worli, where the sodium vapour lamps (SVL) will be replaced by LED lights by March 2017.
The Rs3.50-crore proposal was cleared by the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) committee, in which the Shiv Sena has the majority.
For citizens, this means better illumination on the city roads. Currently, the SVLs have 40 lux (unit of illuminance), while LEDs will give 50 lux. The durability of LED lights is five to seven years, while the life of SLVs is around one and a half year.
“The BMC promised to make provisions for this in the next budget and will accordingly make the full payment. The LED lights will reduce electricity consumption by 45%, so it will help in cutting power supply cost,” said Jagdish Patil general manager BEST.
In January, 2015 the installation of LED lights on Marine Drive had led to a verbal spat between Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Mumbai unit and MLA Ashish Shelar.
Following this, the BEST committee opposed the proposal, citing financial losses and concern over footing the budget for installing the lights.
“We were concerned about the cost involved in installing LED lights. As the administration said this will be borne by the BMC, we have approved the proposal,” said Sunil Ganacharya, BEST committee member.
The BEST maintains and provides power supply to around 37,000 street lamps in the island city, which stretches from Colaba to Sion and Colaba to Mahim.