Residents have opposed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) plans to put up display lights on a five-kilometre stretch of Juhu beach. The BMC’s Rs20-crore ‘beautification’ plan includes putting up musical lights that change colour and makes projections on the sand and water.
They said the lights will destroy the beach’s natural aesthetics and also cause light pollution.
On Monday, members of ‘For Apna Mumbai Abhiyaan’, an association of 38 citizens’ groups, wrote to the municipal commissioner stating the reasons for their objections.
“We appeal to the BMC to withdraw its proposal. A beach like Juhu has its natural aesthetics that have been untouched for years. Apart from minimal requirements such as proper maintenance and basic lighting for security, there is no need to jazz up the beach,” said Ashoke Pandit, convener of NGO Save Open Spaces.
Residents said the BMC did not consult the Juhu beach monitoring committee that was set up in March 2003 to oversee the restoration work.
“The BMC never considered it necessary to consult the public or approach the committee before awarding tenders,” said PK Das, architect and member of the committee.
Residents said the beach needs public toilets and a proper sewage treatment facility. “Juhu is one of the filthiest beaches in the world,” said Hansel D’Souza, activist and president, Juhu Citizens Welfare Group. “Several people defecate along the coastline and untreated waste from the slums is directly dumped into the sea.”
A senior BMC official said, “The decision to revamp Juhu is not a new administrative decision. The provision for it was already made in last year’s budget. We are yet to hand over the tender.”